Jean Bleakney

A Noddity

Or so I thought I heard, whispered by my elders.
Distinct from the ‘poor crittur’ whom circumstance
had whipped, ‘noddity’ corralled the wild-eyed, the loud,
the cowed, the always head-scarved women,
the hidden from view, the ill-at-ease with themselves.
It comes back to me these days when I catch myself
visibly agreeing with myself. As if alopecia areata
wasn’t reason enough for this penumbra of otherness,
these looks I dispensed in childhood. It is easier
to get out of yourself than it is to get back in.


Jean Bleakney