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Angela Garland (doodles); G Allen Penton/ (face profile)
Would I Still Be Me?

A beautiful poem about identity

By Jennifer Dignan
From the September 2019 Issue

Would I Still Be Me?

I like green salads with
shredded carrots,
dried cranberries,
and crumbled blue cheese.
I like pizza with olives
and hot sauce on eggs.

But say I preferred
my vegetables cooked,
my pizza with mushrooms,
my eggs on their own—
wouldn’t I still be me?

I also like cardigan sweaters
and checkerboard Vans.

But if I traded them in
for pullover sweatshirts
and bright white Adidas—
wouldn’t I still be me?

If I wore my hair
in some other style,
wouldn’t I still be me?

If I changed my Instagram handle
or quit TikTok tomorrow,
wouldn’t I still be me?

And if I lived
in some other town,
wouldn’t I still be me?

But what if I giggled less,
or broke rules more often?
What if I never danced?

What if I were afraid of dogs,
but not afraid of heights?

What if I felt a little bit bigger
when I gazed up at the stars?

Would I still be me?    

This poem was originally published in the September 2019 issue.

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Close Reading, Critical Thinking, Skill Building