Who I Really Am

Posted by Ashlyn M. Michigan
Tagged with

A poem about my American Creed, told in the stories of my grandparents.

My creed is my mother’s father

Moving to America from Europe to become a better man

From the country taken in ‘39

Telling a young me every day how lucky I am that he did

A cold and abrasive man

Coming from a past I would never know the truth about

And a country torn apart by oppression

He brought his experiences to a new land

A cold and rainy land

One that was so different

But stuck together

Like a collage of race and culture

Not together

Not apart

He fought for this country

I suppose that means he loved it

But he never told me so

He passed when I was five years old

I guess I’ll never know

Who he really is


My creed is my father’s father

The last of a long line of natives

Stuck in a town

Where dry air circulated as uselessly as the deadly trade

That has destroyed so many

A young boy

Stuck

Without his mother or his sister

He tells me his past is lost in a haze

But I can see it in his eyes

It is the only thing he can see

Like a lightning bolt of clarity

In his mind

He’s long gone now

I guess I’ll never know

Who he really is


My creed is my mother’s mother

A never ending combination

Of every country in Europe

And maybe some in Asia

Who knows?

She doesn’t

She has no idea where she comes from

What her family sacrificed for her

Who made that first decision to come to this country?

A grandmother?

An uncle?

The list goes on

And on

And on

England

Scotland

Ireland

Russia

I wonder who

This woman could possibly be

She refuses to talk about it anymore

I guess I’ll never know

Who she really is


My creed is my father’s mother

The one I know least of all

We’ve never met

But I know her

By the snakes coiled around her family tree

They say she’s crazy

Incoherent

I have no idea where she’s from

Or where she’ll go

Or whether she really is

Bonkers

Off her rocker

Lost her mind

Incoherent

They say she’s German

But who knows?

Funny, isn’t it?

She lives far away

I guess I’ll never know

Who she really is


My creed is me.

A mutt.

A mix.

I am the collage.

I am but a small reflection of the countries I’ve come from.

Poland

Germany

England

Scotland

Ireland

Russia

America

I am from here

And not here

All at once

I am stuck together from leftover parts

Where am I from?

Who am I from?

Where can I go?

What is my creed?

Who am I?

I guess I’ll never know

Who I really am.

Published on May 25, 2018
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