I Am

header_krisI am the first daughter, born during a thunderstorm in the middle of the night.
I am the one walking to school whistling when the woman turns around and says “A whistling girl and a crowing hen always come to a no good end.”
I am one of the cousins squashed into the back seat singing on the way to and from our grandparents.
I am the six year old sick with pneumonia, upstairs in bed for months.
I’m the 12 year old elementary school graduate, out of school early and throwing snowballs with my friends.
I’m the double promoted 7th grader without friends who knows how many minutes left in each school day.
I’m the high school student longing for escape.
I’m the girl standing on the sidelines at Youth Fellowship dances.
I’m 19 and hopelessly in love.
I am 20 with a broken heart.
I’m the printmaker using found zinc scraps for my pieces.
I’m 23, alone and in labor with my first child, in a large dark house, waiting.
I’m a woman, carrying, laboring, birthing and nursing.
I’m the city girl milking goats, chopping wood and plucking chickens.
I’m the 35 year old mother of 5 dancing around the kitchen with my young son.
I’m the 45 year old mother of 6 walking four fast miles around the lake, ignoring my aching achilles tendons.
I’m the granma with bad feet making my way around the track.
I’m the child and the woman moving from place to place.
I’m a woman who has been with this man forty eight years.
I’m a gardener without a garden, a water woman without water and a sewer who rarely sews.
I’m an artist and a writer and a teacher.
I’m a feeler trying to be invisible.
I’m the one the ancestors come through.

17 thoughts on “I Am

  1. I really love this poem. It’s called “I Am” but it makes me think of 23 and me because it stops at number 23 — the one the ancestors come through — and your heritage is so rich.

  2. this is GREAT!! it made me cry when I got to the end. and you are also a one of a kind big sister!

  3. It made me cry, too, and we haven’t even met in person! I’m looking forward to following this project and love your approach here. I think it opens up a part of you that is veiled/submerged in Finding Eliza. Hope you will trust that part of yourself because it’s beautiful and rings true.

    1. Josna, I hope to do that. I was going to put these on a different blog but decided to post them here. I am looking forward to the next prompt, they only come every Saturday at midnight.

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