WHERE AM I?
The only pictures I’ve ever seen
are from their wedding.
My mother looked like a princess
with her tiny waist
in her lace dress
smiling her perfect smile for the camera.
My father wore a white jacket that
hung loose on his thin frame
his hair cut so short
that his big ears stuck out
like a car with both doors open.
My mother kept the pictures
in the pink box with her wedding dress
tucked in the corner of my grandmother’s attic.
She never told me not to look
but I always waited for her to go to work
before I crept upstairs, found the pictures,
and spread them out until
I was surrounded
by my father’s face.
His hair was Cherokee black
his eyes dark
and when I looked at him
I could find nothing of myself to claim.
I wanted that black hair
growing long down my back
like a rope connecting me to him.
I would have even taken his big ears,
just to help him recognize me,
when he came home.
@copyright Susan Taylor Brown 2010
All Rights Reserved
I don’t feel a bond to either my Mother or my Father so I can really understand what you are saying. It does make for a sad life like there is a piece of the puzzle missing. I hope my boys don’t say the same thing about me one day.
Yes you are helping me to heal, we will heal together I am sure.
– Anne McKenna
That’s it, exactly, Anne, that missing piece. As long as you can tell your boys things, I think it will good.
Yes, keep going. I want to know more . . .
Thank you, Jama. I worry each night that I will have something else to say!
I’ve loved all of the poems you’ve written, but this one in particular touched me. The last six lines in particular were very moving. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, Jeni. The supportive comments are helping me to keep going.
Susan, these are all so powerful and filled with amazing imagery. Each time I read one, it’s as if you reached into my chest and seized my heart.
Thank you, Tracy. From my heart to yours.
tanita says 🙂
Stranger still is to see photographs of them smiling — and you’ve never seen that smile either because you’ve never seen them, or the “them” you know are so unhappy that there’s just no place on their faces for such expressions.
It feels so weird to look back and wonder where you might have fit in…