Mujan Me / deborah lombardo

I stand before you – the Many Me’s
In order of appearance:
Portuguese-Italian, English-Irish, Black, Pequot

I always knew I was an Indian
I NEVER wanted the Cowboys to win
Before I’d ever heard of Pequots
I figured I was part St. David’s Island Mohawk
The Indian misnomer
The part that could never be enslaved

My great-grandmother, Sarah
Omitted from mention by my mother’s generation
I never suffered on your behalf
I thank you for my Blackness
For the joy and music which fills my soul
My dancer and my rhythm – always free

My Sicilian Italian me, incurably romantic
This the heritage I decided to claim as a child
After all Michaelangelo was Italian
Latin, the mother of all European languages
And the Mafia soooo very dangerous
I claimed Uncle Joe “The Hobo” Lombardo

My Portuguese – Azoreans – and Island people too
Insular and suspicious; stereotyped hardworking
But true, I’ve never been afraid to get my hands dirty
Hell, I didn’t know I was a Portagee until I was 13
(That eighth really counted back then)
My thanks to the Pony Club girls who pointed this out to me

Ah, then there’s the Irish me – always lucky
A short and scrappy survivor
I wished I’d inherited my Nana’s voice
Then I wouldn’t have missed my calling as a singer

My whiteness, poor white, allow me to clarify, for Bermudian purposes
Designated for recrimination through lack of money
And “real” British whiteness
Inhibited me not much, and now
Well, Hah, as a woman of a certain age
I now know who I am
Black Jo, Inky Dink,and KaiYai – that’s me – a ‘Mujan

•••

Debbie Lombardo was born with a caul in 1949. She still calls Spanish Point her neighborhood along with Southwestern Colorado and Guatemala. She has made a living buying and selling handicrafts from all over the world.  She has been married for over 25 years to Nathan Worswick. Her three children Aaron, Anamaria and Mercedes keep her honest, grateful and optimistic.

2 comments

  1. Reply

    I love the honesty and indomitable spirit of this poem of identity, and the humour in lines like, “My thanks to the Pony Club girls who pointed this out to me.” Thanks, for this, Debbie!

  2. Reply

    Dear Debbie,

    A lovely tumble of images and a celebration of strength in diversity.- and adversity.

    Cheers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s