Who am I?

You ask me who I am,
this fool whose home-made skin
once glistened
with a million shades
of fake and real, incorporating
all the human I hungered to be
and wished to be envisaged in me;
this fool who
from a distance, glowed,
yet seen up close,
singed the eye.

You ask me who I am;
this woman so deeply seared
by uncertainty.
I can tell you I erred,
and that in erring,
I learned to learn,
crawling toward the cure
as each vain expectation,
each flaking fantasy,
each false pretence
was slaked away,
leaving me both less and more.

You ask me who I am
as I watch my multi-coloured dream-coat
shrink to flickering embers,
surrendered by my own hand
to the questing flames
of questioned truth.

You ask me who I am;
I’ll tell you what I know.
Old flesh shows through the vest
my mother dressed me in
long before I chose
my own showy clothes.
Its creases advertise passion
for laughter,
cheesecake
and peace in every corner.
Now and then my heart
aches from human disgrace
and residual shame.
beyond that,
I’m not yet sure
who I am.

This is my last-minute response to Gina at Singledust, who last week put out a call for bloggers to write a poem to introduce themselves, to be featured at The Godoggocafe.

©Jane Paterson Basil

53 thoughts on “Who am I?

  1. thank you so very much Jane for writing and submitting this. I like the reference to clothing and our personality and how that changes through the years, you have out a lot of thought into this poem and I appreciate that. I like the mention of creases and then laughter and then cheesecake, how well it flows together.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you! Cheesecake comes up quite often in my poems, and it’s an intrinsic part of this one. To me, it represents quiet moments, comfort, fun and a little bit of naughtiness – as well as being delicious 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      1. hope that moment has passed! your poetry and writing are such heartfelt words, but we all do have those moments of doubt and anxiety. I will be reposting your poem before the week is over as today we do a pay it forward post at the GDG, watch out for your name to be mentioned soon! and thank you again

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jane, you’re a fellow Leonard Cohen fanatic, you’re a wonderful friend, you’re a brilliant writer, you’re a resilient and courageous mother, you’re a person I admire and cherish, you’re a person I love from a distance xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Who are any of us? It’s hard for us to tell, isn’t it? Easier for others to judge as we only see snippets of ourselves and that through a clouded prism. Love your mix of the insightful and the mundane

    Liked by 1 person

          1. A very good point, Jane. If we saw how ridiculous, unattractive, stupid we can seem … Easy to keep our own shields up, stay inside a protective bubble and fool ourselves we’re other from what we really are

            Liked by 1 person

        1. I joined a writing group in my town, but I didn’t feel comfortable there. It was three years ago – maybe I should go back.

          I also joined a large online writing group, but got frustrated with it since everybody was always so flattering, and I wasn’t convinced that my work couldn’t be improved.

          BTW I’m currently without internet, so I have to borrow my daughter’. I won’t be around much until after the 7th Sept…

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I enjoyed writing it. I love the sounds of word and the challenge of using alliteration and rhyme/slant rhyme without losing the point of what I’m trying to say. To me it feels almost as logical as maths, but as magical as unicorns.

      Like

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