Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Read the Label Carefully

on October 24, 2014

I am told that I’m a WASP
And, yes, I’m those four things.
But I am so much more,
And thank God I’ve got wings.

I thought a WASP was rich,
A male who wore Gray Flannel suits.
My mother told me never mind
Ancestral portraits graced our walls.

That’s all it took, she said,
And silver spoons with monograms
Not in our mouths
But in a silver chest.

So then I’m a Southern WASP.
Sent to a privileged all girls school
I quickly learned how money talks
Not in my mother’s tongue.

Oh me, where do I fit?
I’ll strike out on my own.
To mine the riches in this world
That can’t be sold or bought.

To delve inside myself
To find the single spark
Of fire that gives me life
And shines on in the dark.

A heart of love, song of faith
And anger deep and true
To penetrate the labels cruel
Which separate me from you.

17 responses to “Read the Label Carefully

  1. You said a lot here, wow. Congratulations on saying what you mean and exactly what you feel. I agree about labels. They are truly separations and often serve no real purpose. I especially liked the last two lines in your poem, Viva. Also was touched by your remembering your mother, your childhood, and the South.

    • vivachange77 says:

      Thanks. I’m glad you picked up on the southern version of WASP that my mother taught me. I’m having fun saying what I think and want. Very liberating. I notice I apply labels on first glance and am now intentional about looking beneath them and seeing a human like me. Also liberating.

  2. Very powerful – just popped over to read this after your comment on Holistic Wayfarer and I see your point exactly. No matter our background, we’re always unique but just like everyone else.

    • vivachange77 says:

      Thanks for your comment. I’m learning to look deeper than our outer selves and seeing the human at the heart of all of us. Feeling wordlessly connected to strangers brings special joy.

  3. Karuna says:

    Your poem is so powerful. And I resonate with it so much. By ancestry I am also a WASP but none of me feels like one!

    It is so important that we learn that “you and I are one”. So much healing, and love, in that place.

    • vivachange77 says:

      Your comment gives me goose bumps. I am awed by the healing place where “you and I are one.” I’m finding my experience in the Word Press world leads me to that place. And my writing is a gift I never imagined would connect me so to people all over the world – at least the English speaking pat of it.

      • Karuna says:

        I totally agree with you. And so many people in the blogging world speak English even if we don’t know their native language. I love looking at the list that shows what countries people who read my posts come from.

  4. I of July says:

    only a great mind would write such… beautiful

  5. vivachange77 says:

    Thanks for your gracious comment.

  6. Wonderful words and lovely to hear somebody that abhors labels and can relate to the cruelty of such , when we live in a world without labels ; stereotyping and such the world becomes so much richer and so surprising . Enjoy your posts and your haiku poetry is wonderful says so much just love it. Kind Regards Kathy.

  7. vivachange77 says:

    Kathy, thanks for your comment. Yes, a rich and surprising world when we drop the stereotypes, especially the ones we subject ourselves to. I’m glad you like my posts and haikus. I discovered I have a gift for poetry after I began my blog in June. What a joy. I enjoy your writing, too.

  8. JoHanna Massey says:

    So well said. Thank you. 🍁

  9. JoHanna Massey says:

    Every once in awhile I like to return to a favorite I have read, and today it is this one and once again…so powerful and inspiring as always. Thank you.

    • vivachange77 says:

      Thank you for the reminder, JoHanna. I have been battling the everyday stuff of life lately and had forgotten that I could write things from a deeper place than the one I’m currently in. You are inspiring me.

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