Many things I am not –

the road, its ruts and rises disappearing
around a corner. I’m not the forest floor.
I’m not a pond, not a lily pad floating on a pond
or the silty bottom my feet sink into.
Damp leaves along the water’s edge
are home to a host of small creatures,
of which I am not one. Not a maple leaf.
No thing surrounded by points speaks of me.
I’m not a speck of red from a pine needle prick.
I love the flakey silver layers of mica schist,
how they can be peeled away to reveal new layers.
In this dream, I’m Mediterranean blue.
I’m the chatter of wild parrots.
I’m cherimoya, its sweet flesh swaddling
seeds. When I was born, I was surely swaddled
in flannel and cradled in my mother’s arms.
I glowed, like the tint in my glass of vino rojo.
I’m sipping it, recalling her gaze.
I’m awake, smelling a flower on the orange tree.
MANY THINGS I AM NOT – by Robin Rosen Chang

Photo used under CC


About Author


Robin Rosen Chang's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, The Journal, Cream City Review, North American Review, The American Literary Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and others. She was the recipient of the Oregon Poetry Association's Fall 2018 Poet's Choice Award, an honorable mention for the Spoon River Poetry Review 2019 Editor's Prize. She has an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She is a reader for Barrow Street.

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