I Am From Wanting and Having
By Sarah B. Sullivan
I am from store brand cold hotdogs,
though I could belt out how
I wished I were an Oscar Meier Weiner—
which I didn’t, actually.
I am from children who didn’t wonder why
anyone would wish such a thing,
which is most children.
I am from kick the can on a dead end street.
I am from Easter bonnets in Copley square,
from bread crumbs off the sides of swan boats,
from tea at The Ritz,
from a cycle of brown and green station wagons.
I am from tender crooked fingers
of grandmas who fill in spaces, sometimes.
From homemade Halloween costumes.
The bulk of me is built on Oreo cookies
which I hid from my brother, and diet Coke,
which filled the space when the cookies were gone.
I am from never confessing these things.
I am from never-missed-a-day-of-school,
except when I had the chicken pox,
because who wants to stay home,
because who wants to get the least bit behind?
My life is one tenth longer than it seems
because I sleep less.
I am from fewer dreams than some,
but the same worries, over and over.
I am from losing myself in so many places,
which means I could not tell you where
I am from, but these include: midnight,
ice cream, running by the river, cheap beer,
fine wine, the first woman I dared to kiss,
the memory of my mother’s tears.
I came from trying to solve life on my own.
I found hope in allowing someone else’s hand.
I am from noticing pain passes, loss passes, cookies pass,
lust and jobs and friends and wars pass.
From wanting not as much because
it comes again and goes and comes again.
Or not wanting because I have it,
it being words I could not speak
because I am from a certain kind of silence
which I forgot to name.