Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Ellie

(inspired by Lea Wait's Poem: An Inventory of Being)

I am Michelle.

I am twenty-two years old.

I am a student, but also a teacher.
A girl, afraid to be a woman.

My mother is 5’2”
I stand proudly 5’3½”
Mom always wears heels.
My eyes are blue, and green, and gold, but mostly gray
And my hair, brown with red streaks, and cropped short enough to be mistaken for a boy.
I spike it with hair wax or let in hang limp around my ears, pretending it is protection from the bite of the winter wind.
I walk to school.

I am a child, I am a woman, I can be a lady if I must but I’d rather just be me.
My soul is old, my heart young.
I laugh like a school girl over little things.

I like liver, and tofu, but not together.

I was Shel-Bell and Mich,
Soon I will be Ms Corbett, or perhaps Mrs Corbett, or something altogether unforeseen.
The smell of freshly cut wood, brake dust, and exhaust remind me of my father.
And no matter how hard I try I can never duplicate mom’s chocolate chip cookies.
I drink tea black, and coffee creamy but not too sweet.
I love the smell of violets after it rains.
I’m afraid to be alone, yet find independence irresistible.

I like cinnamon on toast and in curry.
I feel passion when I am sharing knowledge.
Children are the sunshine of my soul.

I like the feeling of dark earth on my fingers in May, and the sound of sweet vocals and piano and sax.
I hate all things pink and frilly, and white socks.

I like the homeliness of wood grain, the smell of book-must.
I think chairs should be banned, except for armchairs.

I like feather quills, and computer keypads, and paper yellowed with age
And I believe in love, and that it feels like sunbeams on my shoulders, but not the kind that hurts.
I don’t like Christmas, and I like Easter but only because it is in spring.

I don’t like pearls, or flashy things,
And if I were to have a golf band it would be white gold
Because it looks like silver.
But not now, because I’m afraid of losing myself, having my wings clipped and finding myself in a guilded cage.

If I have a boy he would be William Edward, and a girl Audivia Anastasia.
Or maybe I’ll adopt,
But first I need a home.
Right now I have two, but both fit like a hand-me-down jacket.

I believe men are smart, and women are too, but each are afraid to question worn-out gender roles.
I want to see more men running daycares and women accountants and scientists.

If I wasn’t a teacher I’d be a writer.
Why words would stir people to laughter and to tears.

I hate extremes in almost everything.
I like to take photographs with empty horizons, void of signs of people have ever set foot there.

I love Jello, but not to eat. Just the concept.
I like spinach in almost everything, and I love cheese but I never buy it.
I sometimes think it would be nice to live in a big house with empty rooms.
Other times a small cottage with porceline figures, and books, and plants cluttering shelves seems ideal.

I love to go barefoot on summer days, and in the winter take hot baths while drinking tea, or eating ice cream.
I write letters because they seem more personal. I hardly ever get any back.
I would rather read non-fiction than fiction most of the time and I watch fantasy movies, and tv series on dvd discs.
I don’t own a TV, and the only radio is in my car.
I don’t read the paper but I get one anyways, just in case I feel the need to make paper hats.

I love thunderstorms, and cool sunny days, and soft fluffy snowflakes that hover on the wind.

And folk music, and a bit of every other style.
I wear silver studs, and none of my other jewellery ever seems to match.

I love campfires, and Sunday pancake lunches with my uncle drinking Earl Grey Green Tea and listening to Vinyl Cafe.
I know Vikings. Complete with swords and axes and chainmail. They don’t wear the funny hats like in the movies.

I like lipgloss but it never seems to help,
And I’d go to the live theatre every night if there wasn’t so much else to do.
I love musicals.

I dress up when I am alone at home, just to feel beautiful.
I wear jeans and tees around town so I don’t feel superficial.
I have the worst luck with alarm clocks. Mostly because I have nightmares and knock them off the table.
I hate cell phones, but I don’t have a landline.

I love to walk, but never at night. I used to. I only drive my car on weekends or when I want groceries.

I believe the truth will set you free, usually.
I am a truth seeker. Sometimes I am a truth finder.
It is not always easy to tell.

I want to be a young girl or an old woman, but not too old and not too young.

I love to sleep, but I never have time.

I only like mushrooms cooked.
The world is not a stage, but the classroom is.

I lock myself away after a long day. If someone else has one I take them out for coffee.
Sometimes I daydream.

I think a lot.

I always buy too many paperclips. I can never find them.

I like mountains, and golden canola fields.
I like to sing, but only when no one can hear me.

I want to travel the world
First Thailand, then Australia, or the UK.
Someday India or Zimbabwe.
Definitely Peru.
Some places I wouldn’t go alone, others would be just me and my passport.

I remember childhood slideshows,
And Cat Stevens songs
And frogs chirping at sunset.
I took long walks with my father, and later long drives.
He always listened.

I want to be loved and understood,
But sometimes it is just easier to be alone.
I like to talk sometimes. People usually give me funny looks.
I’m an idealist, and a lefty.
I don’t believe in love at first sight, and probably not soul-mates.
Sometimes I’m afraid to trust.

I love rock climbing, but I’d never go bungee jumping.
I believe in fairies. And ghosts because I’ve seen them.
My great-grandmother was a psychic. I was always afraid of her because she was also blind. I wish I could know her now.

I’m sarcastic, but also serious.
Sometimes I am too uptight.
I can laugh, even at myself.

Stress makes me sick. I hardly ever get anything else except bronchitis.

I live for April and May, and for October.
I don’t like bleach blonde hair, even streaks.
I always think the good guys are already taken.

I am an English Major, because I didn’t like Psychology or working at Walmart.
I support the underdog.
I am Liberal, and Conservative.
I don’t like war.

I love my mom, even though we don’t always agree.
I admire her, even though she is distant.
I wish I could be as dedicated and driven.

I go to bed late and get up early. Sometimes I nap.

I seek knowledge, but also give it.
I enjoy introspection.
I don’t like criticism, but often don’t want praise either.

I am Michelle, and this is 2011.

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