Posted in INTEC, Learning Curve, Poems (or so I think)

An Inadequate Age At Which To Write A Self-Portrait

This is a response to a poem by David Berman – Self-Portrait At 28 – a poem bout the mediocrity of one individual and the sheer vastness of the world and thought. I’m gonna do my best to do it justice in this response, but here’s my apologies in advance. Here goes nothing.

i don’t remember when i was born

but mom tells me that it was the sixth of may

pa sometimes thinks it was the fifth but anyway

one does not simply ignore the details on that piece of paper

i am probably too young to be writing

a self-portrait poem

but i guess you have to start somewhere?

i have never

saved the earth

built a homeless shelter

run for presidency

made it to the track team

which makes me wonder what to put in this piece

there is more to say of what i did not do

than what i actually did

childhood was a mess of

barney and toys and fighting

and the ground groaning and shaking and moaning from the passing of the train next to our old bungalow

and the moment i realized that i was just another probability in space

and that others were thinking the same thing i was at the same time

and that i was nothing special

adolescence was a horror story and –

dammit i have no fancy words to put in this thing

which makes me wonder

is my life too so unadorned?

but mostly i comfort myself with thinking,

“at least you’re not a weed junkie or a murderer”

maybe i could be proud of that, at the very least

but i am only eighteen so it gives me hope that

maybe special is not meant for me, not yet

maybe this self portrait is yet to be completed

maybe it is a construction site with the sign

WORK IN PROGRESS

emblazoned across the rusted metal entrance

i can read and write and do ‘rithmetic

maybe one day i’ll learn to do more

maybe i will

but for now

dinner

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Author:

A girl. Quasi-grownup. Unaware of the full connotations of the word "adulthood".

One thought on “An Inadequate Age At Which To Write A Self-Portrait

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