April 2018

Saturday, October 2, 2010

PS4 who am i

Like many poetry-reading teenagers, I connected with Emily Dickenson's "Are you a nobody? I'm a nobody, too." When my sophomore English teacher Mrs. Smisson invited us to create a graphic symbol of ourselves, I cut out a large question mark. Today, I'm more of a semi-colon than a question mark, but the question still intrigues me: Who am I?

The too-early child of a nurse and a doctor,
I am from Grady hospital's white wing.
I am from a house on a hill,
from copperheads in the lawn,
from a cul-de-sac,
from a suburban acre
in the piney woods.

I am from
the magic word and
the golden rule,
from "Oh, I'd like to thank the Lord," and
Mahalia at Christmas.

I am from
Yellow roses in a yellow room,
from the nighly stock report,
from Hotlips and Radar.

I am from
the backyard basketball court,
Sunday soccer games after church,
the volleyball gym.

And I am
a child of the seventies,
of Watergate and

I am
a woman in love
with a woman.

I am
a teacher in schools
where brown rain falls through the ceiling.

I am
a survivor:
two brain tumors, three surgeries, six weeks of radiation.

I  am the woman down the street
who walks with a cane.

I am a daughter,
a sister and a cousin,
a niece and an aunt,
a writer,
an adventurer,
a friend.

"I contain multitudes."

Mediocre in Spanish,
child of Apparicio y Maria,
Romero y Father Grande.

I aspire
to courage
and kindness
and right.

I aspire to wander beyond the boundaries of
Who I am and
Where I am from.


  1. Slightly off topic but Robbie and I saw "The Belle of Amherst" last night. If you didn't see it in Seattle, it's worth the day trip down to Federal Way to catch it at the Knutzen Family Theater. I was reminded of a very uncomfortable moment my freshman year in college when the professor tried to explain to us an alternate way of thinking about Dickenson's "A Narrow Fellow in the Grass".

  2. This is pure and lovely, Mary.


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