Sunday, September 13, 2009


Into a silent house with orderly shelves

Came me

With the big gesture

And a book of ghost stories--

Getting into my mother's jewelry and crowing,

"I'm a star!!!"

You couldn't shame it out of me.


I made necklaces from rain drops--

And where the wooden fence met the back of the garage,

That was my plantation

Where I bossed my puppets about

And no one demanded a sensible word all day.

Chokecherry wine is bitter,

And while I loved the odd scent on Daddy's breath when he picked me up and held me,

Bottles are never becoming for a lady.

My movie goes on and on

And I have survived,

Though Daddy and my first love didn't.

Always, growing up, I insisted

That I had a missing sister-twin

And demanded to know where she was.

Now I have found her.

She is me.

Living is a sketchy business,

And I'm sorry for the ones I have had to leave behind;

But when I lay my dreams out like fancy dresses,

Put them on and call them poems,


I'm a star!!!"

And you can't take that away from me.


Photograph: Tracey Power as Mary Pickford. Last line courtesy of George and Ira Gershwin.


Scarlet said...

This poem can be about all of us. It's beautiful, Shay, and makes everyone reading it feel like the star of the show.

Kay said...

Oh how wonderful! Love the line of rain drop necklaces and dresses laid out as dreams....

The thought of the multiple people that lay within each one of us is a process I know well and.....

You are a star!

Anonymous said...

I like this one, Shay.

Dulce said...

I love this!
Your twin sister is you- yes. I am glad you've found her and that your movie goes on. Precious!

Riot Kitty said...

You are a star indeed!

Pouty Lips said...

I love old movies with the glamor and glitz. You are a superstar in my book.

Mama Zen said...

Living is a sketchy business, indeed. Talent like yours makes it so much more than merely bearable.

Joanna Jenkins said...

This is terrific! Thank you.
Have a great week!

Shadow said...

bitter-sweet. and no-one should ever take it away from you, either!

jinksy said...

I think you definitely deserve a gold star for this one! :)

Daryl said...

You and Mr Gershwin have a wonderful way with words

pheromone girl said...

Its nice to find the you that you thought you'd lost. Have a week full of wonder and bliss!

Jannie Funster said...

This poem reminds me of the sheer beauty in living, sketchy yes sometimes.

But chokecherries and fences and garden gates and such, those are the real gifts.

And ain't that sweet what Mama Zen done said? And true.

Jannie Funster said...

Oh, and the way you wear your hat, a gift too.

And as I recall, the way you sip your tea.

ellen abbott said...

I almost missed this one. I put it aside for later and then it got buried under the pile.