Poem by Sydney Scanlon // Photograph by Marta Braggio
I stand here as a daughter
Young, ripe, and sweet as clementines’
Dripping sticky down your hand
I am a sister
Calloused as the camels’ back
Grown rough to pinches, teases, and taunts
Sometimes lapping lightly up the shoreline
And other times thrown into a feverous riptide
Salty, leaving lips parched
Eager as the dry earth
Absorbing knowledge with each rainfall
Who drops her ideas
As the mango tree in the summertime
I am Sydney
Sanguine and energised
I have lived, up until now, with a lot of labels.
I sit cross legged on my flight across the world and watch
my many titles and accomplishments walk off as I decide I can live without them.
Daughter, lover, and gelato scooper is cast away. Student. Entrepreneur. Babysitter.
Tutor. Athlete. Generous. Baker. Curious. Yogi. One by one I drop each
definition, until I am left with just myself, Sydney. I am suddenly struck by
fear, can I exist without the name and body I consider me. I imagine the
future, with a new name in a different family in the heart of Pune, India. I
decide I can live without it. I will have to. I may come back to the states with new terms of
self awareness and never return to some of my old existences. But nobody should
dare call me a different person. I will only be much more myself.