You asked of me...

To bring something to you,

To show and tell,

A significant treasure,

A childhood memory,

Or anything else that is uniquely me.

What do I tell you?

Beyond my eclectic-cism?

I have a home full of things,

That aren't me.

They are accumulations of bits and pieces of people.

Who molded me and defined me.

Do I tell you about the time I came face to face with my past?

When I opened my grandfather Alvin's chester drawer,

And found a practically perfect Nazi SS uniform,

Complete with coins in it's pockets?

Do I tell you of how it felt to trace across the swastika

That rose mightily from the surface of those coins?

Knowing my fingers were tracing paths of history coming home,

Where dead men can no longer tell the truth?

Where dead men probably no longer have their filings.

Do I tell you of the survivor instict he had, and that he,


Do I tell you of my Father's birthday card...

The one he sent me after I met him twice...

When my own biological father

Couldn't send a post card in over eight years?

Do I show you the relationship we created,

When his own blood only came to wait for him to die.

Do I show you the Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto characters,

That belong to my best friend.

A woman whose lost five children,

Then worked as a striper for the one who survived,

And now is practically homebound,

Due to her mental illness.

Who can't even pay her own bills,

But finds a way to buy me a Christmas present.

What image can I give you, other than a dumpster diving

Baby Jane--and this doesn't scratch the surface of who she is.

How do I show you compassion?

Do I show you photos of my OTHER grandfather?

Do I show you the American Flag he carried across Europe,

From when he was in WWII?

That to this day in the corner has Bob Hope's signature on it.

Or do I tell you of the story when we had no electricity,

And my grandfather took tail-lights from cars,

And hooked them to a car battery,

Just so my sister and I could have Christmas tree lights?

Do I show you a picture of my Grandpa and Grandma Yarnell's 50th Wedding Anniversary,

Where all the grandchildren stood by them,

And Bob Dole, whom my grandpa Jack went to boot camp with,

Is standing at his side?

And it is Bob Dole who wrote a letter for me,

To the Disability Board so I could live with some sort of

Dignaty and is in my personal records still.

Do I tell you a story about these gold/tin plates,

That remind me of my uncle Dean, who died of Leukemia.

How I thought he was mean, and surly all his life,

Only to find how loving he truly was when he remembered,

How much I liked his plates and gold keys...

That he told my aunt, whenever she didn't need them

To remind her of their good times anymore,

I was to get them.

Do I show you the bit to my horse Freckles,

Whom the bank forclosed on, farm, horse, everything.

And even though I didn't have her but for a moment?

As a child, riding in the evening sunset, across the prairie,

Gave me the belief in how good small things were,

How pure and simple the best things are.

Do I show you my artwork?

And what of the mass of it do I share,

None of it is the embodiment of who or what I am.

Sometimes, it's not even a piece of me.

Do I show you my many manuscripts?

That tell stories of imaginary lives,

Of people who can't seem to accept nor appreciate the now?

WHAT do I tell you?

When I asked my partner,

"What do I show them, what do I share?"

"You show yourself.  Just take yourself." She replied.

Yet, I worried, and stewed, still.

And here I sit before you,

Knowing no more of myself than before.

Still, I know where I have come from,

I know the why of how I have came to be,

Mentally and Spiritually.

I've learned that there are things in this life,

That aren't worth aspiring for.

When my Grandfather Schneider died,

There were 1200 people who sent cards or went to his funeral.

And they didn't talk about his degrees,

Or his keen financial sense.

They talked about his generosity, integrity, and virtue.

He was a man of Dignaty.

How do I show you these same things I have found in myself?

How do I share what you can't see?

How do I expose dimensions within my mind beyond being

An Artist?

A Writer and Poet?

A self made schollar?

A sexual abuse survivor?

Or a person living with a mental illness?

How do I show you,

Or share with you anything concrete?

I bring myself,

Only myself,

And I then relax, and call it a day.

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Ruth Lovejoy's picture

absolutely profound and wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!