i’m that kind of person
i’m the kind of person who’d use words like honeysuckles and cranberry crush to describe both moods and memories. and phrases like citrus and coconut and chamomile to describe airs and heirs. none of them sweet. born and bred of unpleasantville. as much a part of each of the four seasons as seasonless. wrapped of cranberry-scented wool during winter. a seeker of refuge from stingers and slitherines come summer. a gardener amidst plants simultaneously familiar and strange. layered of shadows and subtle scents. mildew and mayhem. stink bugs and sludge-drenched bricks. molded of memories. still lakes and meandering rivers. town center monoliths and monolithic tremors. i’m the kind of person who’d make the most unfamiliar of places and spaces feel like home – empty structures with cushions on floors, churches with undecipherable crypts, undersized venues with oversized lots of cotton and lace – and the most familiar of unlikely fates feel like fortune. i never wished or longed for anything other than freedom. prefer hand-stitched cottons speckled of confetti crystal. i’d laugh at dancing flames and fancy dames. and offer loyalty in spaces where others toiled. i’m the kind of person who’d use words like abloom and breathtaking. existential and enduring. all to describe minutes indisputably mundane. morning coffee – one cream, one sugar. midday slumps. soft winds. wayward wonderings. and words like exquisitely magical to describe minutes unquestionably unexpected. a butterfly lingering on a cotton clothed shoulder. all wings wide. the sound of silence at mealtime and midnight. all souls quiet. church pews empty. the warehouse abandoned. ready to be. i’m the kind of person who’d use words like ideal and inspired, sometimes even quintessential, to capture consumption. a single potato. a slice of meatloaf. a spritz of lemon. i’m the kind of person who saw the best in everything, even while a recipient of the worst. and i’d like to believe i became the best of us. i wasn’t always that way. my early language lingered in syllables soiled of cuss words and crass. most afternoons i’d fight with the everyone and everything. hinges on cabinets. perpetually unhinged. born and bred of unpleasantville. more recent transitions. revelations. newly polished. perfectly situated in memory and recollection. to be missed of all seasons. perennially and annually. of kindness and like-minded kinds. always.
i am not my history. i am of my roots. hair of red roses. eyes of aquamarine. sight beyond the four seasons. seasonless. scented of blueberry cobbler and freshly bound cobblestones. strong as mortar. daughter of setting and circumstances. as a child i’d linger. at the deepest of lakes. my eyes a pool of memory and motivation. sister to many. of many moods. always, of everyone. victim of systems and circumstances. victim of oversight. not a victim. mother of a baby of many mamas. heavy of grace. lover of amazing grace. alligator bugaboo and life. denied both a final goodbye and a first kiss hello. a mother with no mother. wronged, not wrong, mother to plants and planter of seeds – serendipity and solitude. solidarity and sisterhood. speaker of truths and time. friend to battles and beetles. fan of the beetles and the drifters. player of games. backgammon and checkers. not a player. courier of community. of considerable care and curiosity. a drifter. a drafter of questions with no answers. mostly why.
i’m clazie. never i before we. lover of life. creator of life. harbinger of hope.
a girl of many lives
my tears echo
Jen Schneider is an educator who lives, writes, and works in small spaces throughout Pennsylvania. Recent works include A Collection of Recollections, Invisible Ink, On Habits & Habitats, and Blindfolds, Bruises, and Breakups.