My poems podcast, Words by Winter, can be found here.
Dog person versus cat person versus beer versus wine versus Gen Z versus baby boomers versus millennials versus Gen X versus The Greatest Generation versus red states versus blue states versus New England versus Midwest versus West versus North versus South versus pro versus anti.
Categorization makes me tense. Can’t I love both dogs and cats? (I do.) Can’t I be a novelist and a poet and a picture book writer? (I am.) Why do any of us have to be this and not that? Someone profits by having us believe it’s a good thing to divide, slot, label and categorize, and it’s not us. I love blurred lines and this poem for the same reason.
Where We Are Headed, by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
At first we just say flower. How
thrilling it is to name. Then it’s
aster. Begonia. Chrysanthemum.
We spend our childhood learning
to separate one thing from another.
Daffodil. Edelweiss. Fern. We learn
which have five petals, which have six.
We say, “This is a gladiolus, this hyacinth.”
And we fracture the world into separate
identities. Iris. Jasmine. Lavender.
Divorcing the world into singular bits.
And then, when we know how to tell
one thing from another, perhaps
at last we feel the tug to see not
what makes things different, but
what makes things the same. Perhaps
we feel the pleasure that comes
when we start to blur the lines—
and once again everything
is flower, and by everything,
I mean everything.