Who Am I?

“We all play multiple roles in daily life. You may talk baby talk to your cat and be officious on the phone at work. In one day you may be a student, a mother or father, a lover, a best friend, a customer, a member of a club, a stranger on the street. Exploring these selves – present, past and those you may become – can help you move away from thinking of the ‘I’ in your poem as you yourself, and toward ‘I’ as a character or a version of you.

“Try this exercise: List your various selves, including your (their) hopes and fears….When you’re finished, you’re likely to have titles and subjects for several poems. Then go ahead and speak in the first person, as one of your selves. Use your life as material, to tell some truth. But don’t let your poem be confined by facts.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

 

 

Past

The nerd buried in a book

A quiet, shy girl

Director, choreographer, actor

Ballerina en pointe

Honor role student

Lost with wounds on her arms as a map

Christian who finally hears God’s voice

American in España

Stuck in a cycle of abuse

A statistic

A survivor

 

Present

Full time college student part time Walmart slave

Grown child in parent’s home

Substitute teacher who loves her kids

Girlfriend waiting for him to pop the question

 

Future Hopes

Teacher who excites all kids to learn

Adoring wife

Responsible and loving mom

Growing in Christ daily

 

Future Fears

Unable to escape my past

Tortured by fear and anxiety

Suicide victim on the bathroom floor

 

Poem

I have been reduced

to a number

One in Four

One in Five

One in Six

It’s hard to know

When victims don’t speak up against

A friend

Classmate

A man bigger, stronger

I didn’t use to be afraid

Now the odds

That I will panic

At my boyfriend’s loving, gentle touch

Is One in Four

One in Five

One in Six

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