Assembling Self

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sketches of an Adoptee

Sketches of the person here can't illustrate my inner fear.
I pose afraid the artist sees just how this picture is incomplete.
But what is missing, what is gone, can't be seen, it can't be drawn.
No shades can show the gaping holes, left in my heart, deep in my soul.
The pallet holds no color near, nor tint, or shade of hidden tears.
For what was lost taken away, the pain a brush stroke can't portray.
No pencil either lends a clue.
No crayon, chalk, will show the hue.
Of this facade on which I depend because I know not who I am.
Perhaps someday I will reveal these emotions that I feel.
The fragments of myself not shown.
Searching for family I've never known.

This poem was written about a sketch I had done in New Orleans by an artist on the square when I was 24.  It hung in my bedroom for years I always looked at it wondering where the cheekbones, or eyes, or sense of humor came from.  And today I found myself doing it again with other people.  I look around at work everyday to the people who "fit".  I see black, white, hispanic, young, old, tall, thin, heavy set, blonde, brunette, red heads, bald, people who know where this comes from and the people who gave them their traits.  Wondering where is my "fit"?  Where do I belong?  Certainly not with the parents who adopted me.  They thought I would be a blank slate.  I was far from that.  And now finally, decades later, I know different does not mean "bad".

It's been a long journey but with the help of so many I can celebrate my difference, be thankful for it, and help others attain what I spent far too much time trying to do.  Just....being me.