April 12, 2016

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Question & Answer

I'm about to leave for a group reading at the Writers' Center in Bethesda. Reading poems out loud to myself, stop watch ready.
One of the poems I'll be reading is my most widely published...a persona poem called, "Brother." (An odd choice for me, as I'm not a conjoined twin -- but you'll see why I loved Stephenie Meyer's The Host so much.) Most recently, it was published in the Maryland Writers' Association anthology, New Lines from the Old Line State.
Re-reading this piece, I realized that it has themes in common with May Swenson's "Question," posted for this week's Poetry Friday.
Here is "Brother":
Brother “Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim – who had been joined at the top of the head – were separated… after neurosurgeons finished dividing the boys’ venous systems and brains.” CNN, October 13, 2003 When did I become aware of my brother? I can feel him only if we stretch our arms overhead at once, our fingers touch. From above my eyes, I hear laughing, crying, words not my own. An echo self? Are there two of me? No. Not me exactly, but me. We are a continuous line, a human palindrome, my twin doing a headstand on my skull where people imagine light bulbs or dark clouds reside I have myself again, but not myself. Has God melded us, or has he never unmelded? Those dancing mitochondria swaying apart have never stopped holding hands. I have been given a word for the voice beyond my sight and would like to face my brother. I have never seen him, except at night when I walk my feet up the crib slats and he walks his feet up the other side. If I raise my eyes almost to their lids I can see – are they his toes? -- moving. And I have no sense of moving them.
I'll be busy this week prepping our regional SCBWI conference, but look for a classroom lesson on writing the persona poem.

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