Who Were You?

The silk nightgown hung loose ending
just above your knees
as you frantically run between bedroom and closet.
You have a house now, all your own.
And two dogs, all your own.

You’re not married,
but you were never one for

emotionless paperwork.
You have five children,
just like your mother.
And you can make people laugh,
just like your father.
You have green eyes of the emerald isle,
yet the life behind them is from a different place.

Who were You?
What names were you called by?
What were your hopes, dreams,
Regrets?
What drove you?
Who were you?

I see the Annie in the pictures with the pink.

I see the Anne in green.
I see the wife in white,
and the mother in red.

But who were you?

I know the stories.

Do you see yourself in me?
Were you, too, the square whose that hurts itself
moving like a circle?

You have seen me as I was, am, and will be.
But who were you?
Is Annie gone never to return?
Will I see her on the street and not recognize her?
Would I like her?
Would she like me?

love me?

When were you divided?
The woman sawed in half,
The hopeless housewife,
The interrogator,
The stubborn independent,

The befriender.

Who were you?

So furiously standing alone,

Yet
So desperately wishing someone would hold you,
stroke your hair, and tell you it would get better.

I see myself in you.
I love you, with my voice, my soul.
You still wear that nightgown,
but you have long since shed that skin.

(Published in the Matrix Feminist Literary Magazine 2009)

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