by Nuala Sanchez
The heart shaped locket, 100 years old,
Now on my own neck,
Passed down from generation to generation.
I hope to never break it.
I open it to find a picture of a baby, probably now in his nineties.
No one knows who he is, which makes me wonder even more,
But most of all I wonder, who am I?
Spanish, Russian, French, Mexican,
Also, English, Irish, German and Scottish.
So many nationalities.
We are not religious you see,
We spend the Holidays together
Surrounded by the smell of my aunt’s delicious food.
Some of us cry when thinking of my grandmother.
We are like the chain of my locket, hoping never to break.
I’ve never met my other grandmother,
Because she died before I was born.
I’ve always been curious about her.
People say I look like her,
Especially when she was my age.
I’ve heard she had a sense of humor and smoked since she was 15.
From my heritage the Spanish can be friendly and sociable,
Organized, helpful and open to all.
The Irish can also be quite friendly and sociable,
But also very talkative like my Aunt Maggie and witty like my Uncle John.
These traits I often see in me and also in my family.
Family is like a home,
When something breaks it comes as a displeasure.
Your parents might curse and blame the cat.
You might have secretly knocked it over yourself,
And the secret lies within your soul.
When my Dad was a kid he played sports.
I have never taken a liking to it.
The ball would never hit my bat,
The kick would never shoot it in the goal.
I like reading, listening to music, having fun with my friends,
And most of all being happy.
I begin to wonder now,
Who is the baby in the locket?
I don’t feel comfortable wearing the mystery baby around my neck.
I wonder if I’ll ever know who he was, but I know who I am.