Identity – A Dash of Sunny

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I’m taking a breather from

the emails

the documents

the deadlines

the treadmill of files

the Escher-like never ending work mountain.

I’m taking a breather from

the headache

that sits like a heavy, black dog

inside my head.

I’m taking a breather – dammit.

I’m listening to music in the sunlight outside,

pushing obligations to one side,

just for a few moments.

I close my eyes, and breathe…

And then, there he is –

“Excuse me, Miss, my name’s Marcus”

I look into his eyes,

see the worry lines creasing his forehead,

the hesitant, apologetic half-smile

hovering around his mouth.

“I’m scared. I’ve nowhere to stay tonight.

I’m scared.”

I’m taking a breather…

He cannot.

We chat for a bit, I tell him my name in return,

I give him some money (that I really won’t miss)

and wish him well

and mean it.

I did nothing really,

except…

give him some time

give him my attention

give him my name

give him recognition

give him humanity.

He gave me peace.


 

It’s time for the weekly prompt from A Dash of Sunny where we are invited to write about something that is important to us. This mish-mash of a poem isn’t a work of fiction, Marcus really did enter into my world for a few minutes during Thursday last week.

I didn’t do anything earth-shattering. We just spoke for a while, like people do. The trouble is, too often homeless people are ignored by the rest of us. I can’t imagine the amount of bravery it takes to ask a stranger for help. The cynical part of me does sometimes question what any money I might give will be spent on, but really, who am I to judge, if it helps that person get through another day with no place to call home?

He gave me more than he imagined, in any case. He took me far away from the concerns of work, and on that particular day, it was a blessing. Thank you, Marcus.

 

Scorched Earth

I say ‘I don’t know’ to all of the above.

Not knowing – or telling you that I don’t –

erects walls and

stops me from crawling inside and

means that I don’t have to search and

find that there is nothing there;

because that would mean

I am merely a collection of bones –

skin stretched over and

wrapped around thin air.

Perhaps I am a vaccuum.

Perhaps I am strong

because I haven’t imploded under the pressure

of emptiness;

because I haven’t scratched myself raw;

because I haven’t sucked my bones dry.

Perhaps there is more to me than I think.

Perhaps I’ll know then,

what that moment feels like.

 

———-

This week, on dVerse Poetics, Marina Sofia has asked to write poetry about our identities, and has pointed us in the direction of Bhanu Kapil’s book ‘The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers’.

Ugh. Tricky. We are always changing, going through transitions of one kind or another, but after seeing Bjorn’s helpful early morning post and poem on this, I was determined that I’d not be taking part today. As you can see, I changed my mind…

In short, I haven’t got a bloody clue who I am and today, I don’t feel wonderful about that fact. As you can probably tell from my offering above. Tomorrow, it will probably sit better with me.

Marina Sofia asked us to look at four questions in particular:

1) Who are you and whom do you love?

2) What else are you, that no one has seen before?

3) Describe a morning you woke without fear.

4) What lingers when all is said and done?

I hope you enjoy my piece – please do visit dVerse to read the wonderful poems form our diverse, dVerse community!