This Bird on My Back

Sep 1, 2021 | 2021 Fall - Bodies, Poetry

By Emilyn Kowaleski

If someone would have told me years ago
that I was staring at the girl in college
with the raven tattooed across her back
because, perhaps, I wanted her
And less perhaps,
because I wanted to be her
I might not have this blue heron
etched on my own shoulder blade.
Now baked in red from marching in today’s sun.
And I cherish this bird on my back
It reminds me of the beauty of existing
in an ever-shifting relationship with the truth of my own being.

Emilyn Kowaleski is a queer feminist writer, director, and facilitator working towards collective healing, transformation, and liberation. A theater-maker by training, Emilyn writes in a blend of disciplines including plays, performance pieces, poetry, essays, and articles. www.EmilynKowaleski.com

Related Articles

Traditions

By Kristin Turner Growing up, raised as an only child... Holidays mostly spent with family in New York... Born in Boston, MA... Favorite New York relative my TaTa... My Vito... My Step Grandfather... Every trip down to my Grandma’s Coop, he would surprise me, showing...

read more

At the Funeral

By Karen Schnurstein Her childhood church was exactly as she remembered: flooded in red carpet, dark, glossy wooden pews holding everything in order. On the ceiling, high as the sky— the many mighty phoenix symbols (white and black, on red and blue tiles). Before she...

read more

A Transition Tradition

By Laurie Wolfe Repeating your name Repeating your name to yourself ‘til it’s second nature ‘til when you talk to yourself in your head it’s your name the one given by spirit instead of the one you heard since birth. Repeating your name is a tradition of transition...

read more