Identity: January 16 Posting #1


Photo by David Senette: “Christmas Flowers”

Prodigy Envy

If everyone could know at a young age what they were destined to become, would it change all of our social systems? A child prodigy not only excels at a particular skill but is driven to perform that skill and never seems to tire of it. It is more than just being passionate about something. It is that they are created for it. It’s in their DNA.

Statistically, what is the number of people who have college degrees, even post-graduate degrees who are actually working in their field of study? How many people have worked years at a white color job, even excelled at it, only to discover that they really just wanted to be a farmer? I sometimes envy those who are certain of their identity. It seems to me that knowing what your purpose and value is to humanity sooner rather than later can be both rewarding and treacherous. It took me a long time to be comfortable in my own skin. I suspect I share that sentiment with many others.

I am What I am.

Does the seed wonder what it will become?

If it’s a daisy, does it want to be a bean instead?

When it becomes a beautiful flower,

Does it think that its roots are too short,

Or its petals are too far apart,

Or its color is a shade too flamboyant?


I watch a bird pecking at something

Perhaps a bug or a worm

In the cement birdbath that we grew tired of cleaning

Resorting to using it as a planter instead.


I wonder if this is the same bird that

Bathed in the sun-warmed water last summer.

It doesn’t seem to care that the water isn’t there.

Perhaps it’s a different bird or maybe it has

Already forgotten what used to be.

I can relate,

What I am now is far more interesting.


I look in the mirror and smile.

What an absurd creation I am,

As though source of creation

Thought it might be fun to use only spare parts from

Leonardo da Vinci’s atlas of anatomy.

I no longer care that my legs are short

And my wrinkles are deepening,

I still have a twinkle in my eye.

Like Popeye,

I am what I am.


© 2015 Bessie Adams Senette

Published by

Bessie Senette

Bessie Senette is the author of Cutting the Clouds: a Bayou Mystic’s Poems, Musings, and Imaginings – an autobiographical collection of poems and essays about the life and culture of her bayou upbringing and the spirituality that informs her traditional healing gifts. Her current work-in-progress is Louisiana Pines: Homeland Poems and Vignettes; a chapbook that poetically explores her beloved home state.

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