An Imitation of Betsy Sholl’s “Genealogy”

One of my parents was a blade, the other a mop.

One was a screech, the other an empty voicemail box.

In the night I’d wake to jazz and the faint

smell of gas.

The miniature heartagram tattooed on my soul

is the one for the love I thought I’d never find.

One of my parents was a beartrap,

the other a pitcher I carried into the night,

convinced it was fragile.

One of my parents I drank, the other I dreamed.

In the revolving door of my becoming,

one yanked me from afar and one stood stagnant.

Thus, my troubled birth, my endless tremor.

One was a question mark, the other a bracket.

How they amused each other.

One was a song, the other a hammer. I was ashamed

of singing, embarrassed I couldn’t fix things.

I was a girl waltzing across the bedroom for love

she couldn’t find.

20 | UTC honors student | English and Creative Writing | aspiring inspirer