Jim Yerman

Who Am I?

Three events occurred yesterday that served to mystify
As they compelled me to answer a simple question and wonder...Who am I?

First, an old friend posted a picture of my class from back in 7th grade
I was delighted by the simple innocence and the smiles we displayed.

Skip ahead to last night, on the web, a picture of Deborah and I
At a recent wedding (since 7th grade,50 years have drifted by) .

Still last night I applied for a part time job, a process meant to diagram
From the application I was filling out...exactly who I am.

I immediately stopped and thought to myself, “Is there any information whereby
I can honestly answer the question posed...exactly who am I? ”

Am I the boy in that 7th grade picture: 1st column,7th row from the top?
Or that old guy standing by Deborah wearing a bow tie as a prop?

The answer is both...and neither for aren’t we all truly herein
A blend...an amalgamation of every person we’ve ever been?

Yes, I’m the young boy in 7th grade, and the old man with the tie
I’m a husband, a father and a Pop Pop, all of these I can’t deny.

It seems there are a lot of people mixed up inside of me
And it would be an oversight to view each one separately.

For we are constantly developing and, if I’m not mistaken
We’ve already changed immediately after a photograph is taken.

Yes, when you think about it, in a life that often passes in a blur
A photo doesn’t tell us who we are...it only tells us who we were.

Who I am is a combination of every old photo ever taken of me
That blend with new photos daily and make me who I’m going to be.

Perhaps that’s why we love looking at pictures, why they give us so much joy
When we find inside each photograph that little girl or boy.

For they help us to appreciate the people we are today
And realize those people in those old photos are never far away.

So who am I? I’m not sure. Today, with some confidence I might proclaim
But ask me again tomorrow...chances are...my answer won’t be the same.

As I stood in the store wrestling with this question my head began to throb
For I realized, the manager’s watching...and I’ll ever get this job.

Submitted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

The story is in the poem, about how old pictures make me wonder who I am.

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