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.