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I do not own my face

____________________share with cousins,
cousins-once-removed, second cousins, aunts,
grandmothers. Through the family album I
find myself with upswept curls, ruched lace collar,
bustle. There, again, in flapper dress, long beads,
bob. High cheekbones, one peaked brow, square jaw,
and eyes of grey or blue, hazel or chocolate brown.
Where, my daughter asks, did you get that picture
of my mother? A cousin replies, That’s my mother!
Every generation: Twilley blood will out.
Common blood. Dominant genes. Granite-willed
women with wide child-bearing hips.
Even our names recur: Mae and Anne, Dorothy
and Elizabeth. Bloodline single and twisted
as honeysuckle that masses our fences, our graves.
Just as unstoppable. We people an island, a county;
draw strength from oneness; sail on, indomitable,
down the centuries, white-winged vessels
skimming the water.


words: Ann Howells, Dallas (more)
image: 'Matriarch & Offspring' - Michael Brandonisio, NYC (at Otoliths)


another island of people: Faith (#21)


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BluePrintReview - issue 26 - identity