Poem 189 – Who Am I?

Who am I?
I am how others see and shape me, friends
and colleagues, neighbours, enemies. I shift expression, slide to meet whoever stands
before me now. I am your husband, friend
and lover, sharing lives, and tears and dreams.
You’ve had my best and worst. I wonder what
you see, you who knows me best, who am I?
I am my work, my nine to five and more;
it’s how we catalogue and frame the other.
I am the teacher’s son, the scientist’s too,
designed by nature, nurture, chicken, egg.
Does anybody know the essential me,
the one beneath these morphing layers?
                                                                                I don’t.
He is not there, he doesn’t exist. I am
only because this web creates, remakes me.
I am I and you and him and we.

Who is the real me? A counterpoint to my previous poem (Poem 188 – Exposed). Those of faith might spot another allusion and contrast.

© Ben Quant 2023
Photo by Hermann Wittekopf on Unsplash

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