Body Language

I have a series of pictures of me or parts of me. I’ve collected them over the years from my teens to middle age. Quick sketches in charcoal or colored pencils, a painted portrait, a painted study of my hands, a folk art depiction, a mixed media portrait, and photographs. All of them different but the same.

They fascinate me, these small glimpses into how I am seen by others. I am by turns discomfited, surprised, repelled, and entranced. I recognize myself but through a glass darkly.

Body Language

Brenda – (Norse)  sword or torch
Joyce – (Norman/French) lord

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. — Matthew 6:3 KJV

Lord knows,
I can be a handful.
Mama could never explain
why her joyful girl took up
fighting in third grade.
She sat me down
beloved face close to mine
asked low voiced about the notes.
Three or four within as many
months from my teacher. Notes
full of questions, of words
like never and surprised
fierce and sudden and willful.
I sat     at first     pressed into her
then leaned away        arms
folded chest-tight. I could not
tell what was not my story.
Caged, my hands would not.

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