Identity

A poem by Julio Noboa Polanco.... My 7th graders read this this week and I can't get it out of my head. And my soul.
  1. Let them be as flowers,
  2. always watered, fed, guarded, admired,
  3. but harnessed to a pot of dirt.
  4. I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed,
  5. clinging on cliffs, like an eagle,
  6. wind-wavering above high, jagged rocks.
  7. To have broken through the surface of stone,
  8. to live, to feel exposed to the madness,
  9. of the vast eternal sky.
  10. To be swayed by the breezes of an ancient sea,
  11. carrying my soul, my seed,
  12. beyond the mountains of time or into the abyss of the bizarre.
  13. I'd rather be unseen, and if
  14. then shunned by everyone,
  15. than to be a pleasant-smelling flower,
  16. growing in clusters in the fertile valley,
  17. where they're praised, handled, and plucked
  18. by greedy human hands.
  19. I'd rather smell of musty, green stench
  20. than of sweet, fragrant lilac.
  21. If I could stand alone, strong and free,
  22. I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed.