Inclusion and Exclusion in Our Daily Lives
PART IV: YOUNG ADULTHOOD
GINA M. TABASSO
YOU SEE WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR
A man pulls a green wagon carrying a laughing girl along the sidewalk with one hand, holds a cigarette in the other, hits a bump and drops the handle at my feet.
A father throws a ball in his driveway to a toddler who drops it so it rolls toward the street. I pick it up, hand it back. She grabs with strength, Down’s Syndrome under her hat.
A grandfather sits on a retaining wall next to his grandson, puts bread on a hook, drops the line into the trickle running through the storm pipe.
A pink rhododendron scatters petals before a beige house with plum shutters—reminds me they also must be blooming in front of the house where my grandma once lived.
A teenager cuts the lawn for his dad and at the end of each row bangs the mower on the sidewalk to shake out clumps.
As I pass him, circling home, I meet the man with the wagon again. They turn to look. None of them are alone.
How often do we see the world through a filter of exclusion?
What happens when we try to shift the filter?
After my boyfriend and I broke up, I was extremely sad and trying to lose some weight. So, I would take a walk every night around the neighborhood. One night this poem just happened. I saw these scenarios play out and thought about how I am alone and all of them have someone. I was feeling sorry for myself at the time. It was almost like I was walking around the neighborhood trying to find this man I loved so much and lost. Trying to walk off the sorrow and loss and grief and I just felt more alone. I still do many things alone but am not lonely. I am loved and I love. I am blessed by the best friends on earth. I did let go of romantic love though. This was my choice. I did not want children or marriage. Being alone is a choice but it has its challenges. I am having a problem with one arm that might require surgery and immobilization for 12 weeks. All I can think is: Who will hook my bra or open jars or clean my horse's stall or carry a laundry basket upstairs? I am not afraid, but I do become concerned at times.
GINA M. TABASSO holds a master's degree in English and has been published in many literary journals and anthologies. She has three published chapbooks: From Between My Legs, Disrobing and Front Lines. Gina earns her living as the corporate communications manager for a tire distributor and enjoys riding her horse, practicing yoga, belly dancing, teaching poetry workshops, giving poetry readings and spending time with those she loves.