Friday, March 21, 2014

Prompt: I Am

I'm in the dressing room, trying on wings, halos, horns, fangs.

I am the rooms of my house and their ghosts and their graves and their inhabitants, borrowing bodies.

I am the girl watching herself run wild and free across the meadow on the television set while eating cheese puffs and sour patch kids on the couch.

I am in the cross hairs of maiden and crone, as predicted by the ceremony my mother held in her backyard when she turned 50 and I turned 21 while her neighbor, Ed the Trucker, watched from his back fence.

I am the stack of unsorted papers growing on my desk like rings inside a tree, but faster.

I am finding a little more freedom in a little more structure.

I am the first flash of connection between head and heart and hand.

I am not sure the frame always fits the painting.

I am in search of God not Church.

I am the one who stayed and the one who, despite the blood contract, the unspoken agreement sworn to forever, got up and walked away.

I am the text my husband sent while eavesdropping on a conversation at the Jewish Community Center: "After 50 years, wife and I are starting to understand each other."

I am the phone call I make to him ten minutes later to make sure he's still there 13 years after impact.

I am Mary Magdalene texting Judah.

I am the whale that forgot to spit out Jonah.

I am the senior citizens in Fit and Fab shaking their booties in slacks and sweaters.

I am the boat motors covered in snow on the picnic table, disemboweled from their boats.

I am the yoga pose just out of reach, the one the body found instead.

I am changing even as I stab at the page with words woefully under-equipped to describe how.

I am the baby tooth waiting under the pillow for her fairy, the wisdom tooth evicted from her childhood home.

I am the face in the mirror that says, "I know you. You're alright. Yes, you can stay."


  1. I am one who loves this.

  2. Hi, Valley. I took your memoir-writing course 2 years ago and it really helped me write again. Thank you for posting your response to the "I am" prompt, because it reminds me that it's time to test a few prompts again. So...I am...thankful you shared. (Creativity begets creativity.)

  3. Nedra! I remember you well and I am absolutely thrilled to hear you've been writing. Keep letting your voice be heard...the world needs it! XO, Valley