My Honest Poem

I met Rudy Francisco back when we were both college kids, at a Southern Rap Conference in CA.  We were both performing spoken word, and I was mesmerized by his vulnerability and courage.  I remember recording his words on my old school digital camera, and replaying it over and over again for months (back before social media even existed…).

The next year, we were both at the same conference, and he came to see me perform spoken word, and I of course came to see him.  Fast forward to now, and I see that he recently released a compilation of poems in “Helium,” and performed on “The Tonight Show.”  What an inspiration!!

As a tribute to one of my favorite poets, I took part of Rudy’s “My Honest Poem” and formed a template for my students to write their own honest poems.  The response was amazing, and I was truly impressed by how deep (and humorous) they got with their words.  Here’s my poem that I’d like to share:

I was born on August 28th.  I know
That makes me a Virgo.  Which means
That I’m a perfectionist who can never be satisfied.

I’m 5’4
And a half,
And although I weigh the same as I did
Before I gave birth,
My body is completely different.

I don’t know how to whistle,
I’m a sucker for sweet lines
Because words move me.  But I’m still learning

How to forget past hurts
Forgive old grievances
And distinguish right from wrong

I like cookie dough
That’s also my dog’s name.
I’ve been told that I leave people guessing
Perhaps it’s because I don’t want to be found.

I get really nervous every time
I get boxed into a routine
I’m always trying to find my escape route.

I have an odd fascination with
Seizing the day.
Since I know that our time here is limited.

I have conflicting emotions
Battling each other each moment
My hobbies include: rewriting my narrative,

And trying to convince my son
That I’m someone worth emulating.

I don’t know what I’ll remember twenty years from now
But I do know that I never gave up the fight
To continually evolve and be better than before.

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