I Have My Mother’s Feet, My Grandmother’s Anguished Voice, My Daughter’s Eyes… But, I Am Me!

Who am I? A granddaughter? A daughter? A mother? What is my identity?

I get up in the morning; on my feet for hours,

So much to do.

I sit down to rest, catch my breath,

I put up my feet, but I see my mother’s feet.

When did my feet become my mother’s feet?

I smile, she told me this would happen,

Everyone did.

One day you will become your mother, they said

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In my youth, I scoffed at them,

My mother was old, I was young

I could never become her.

But now I wonder is it bad?

To be a person who enjoys life,

To be a person who grabs opportunities,

To be a person who brings love and happiness into everyone’s life

Including herself.

If I am my mother, if I have her feet

Is it so bad, I wonder as I get up from my chair.

My knee stiffens, pain shoots up,

A stifled cry escapes my lips

My grandmother’s anguished voice.

Does she live on in me too?

I steady myself and without consciously realizing mimics her posture.

These hands that steady me,

They are not mine

They are my fathers

I would know them anywhere

They are the hands that have always steadied me whenever I stumbled.

And suddenly I feel a flutter

Am I me? Do I exist?

Or am I just the sum of others?

I see my reflection in the mirror.

This face…this face is so familiar

Today I see so many people in this face who look back at me.

These eyes belong to my daughter.

The arch of the eyebrow, the long lashes;

They are meant for a sixteen-year-old

Not for someone who has knee pains and old women’s feet.

The sharp nose is my brother’s,

The cheekbone of my sisters,

Or am I confusing the two?

But this forehead I would know anywhere

I have kissed it every time I tucked my son into bed.

Am I me? Do I exist?

Or am I just the sum of others?

I look at myself and see only others, loved ones, and dear ones, but where am I?

And yet I wonder if is it bad

To be the sum of others?

To have the hope of a six-year-old that tomorrow will be better,

To have the ambition of a sixteen-year-old,

To have the wisdom of age,

To be brave, to be adventurous

To be courageous and kind.

If that is all I am, then that is enough for me.

I smile

And the smile is mine, only mine.

I exist. I am me.

I am more than just the sum of others.

They exist in me and I in them.

But I am me, and more than just me.


Image source: CanvaPro

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About the Author

Asfiya Rahman

Asfiya Rahman, a management graduate, is a teacher by occupation and a writer by inclination. She has published many short stories in different publications and is the author of the sports drama trilogy Wild, Wild read more...

19 Posts | 22,647 Views

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