National Poetry Month–Finnish-American Writer, Kim Nixon
Laughing voices whip past in a snake line.
I pull my stocking cap over my ears,
re-lace my skates and spin off to a distant surface.
Practicing figure eights, I follow
blue lines of faces etched on the ice
until they end at mounds of snow pushed from the rink.
I want to see a reindeer, always wanted to see a reindeer.
I want to lay under hemlock trees and eat wintergreen
to freshen my breath.
This push through my veins recalls migration;
a nomadic urge to be with a distant people who follow
the herd, strip warm flesh from bone and suckle red meat.
Chants echo in circles over hills; I cannot translate.
Cracking, the surface plunges me into thick water
where figure eights above my head suggest
the infinite, and what, with time, possible.
I taste sweet syrup; I taste sweet blood.
~poem copyright Kim Nixon
I was adopted at 3 months of age into a family that was Dutch and German. Born in 1964 at Old Providence Hospital in Detroit I was born of a half-Finnish, Half-Swedish Mother and German Father. I have never met them. I have had no contact through the years. Yet there are images and memories inherent to me. Like the rings of a tree, ingrained within me, a heritage.
With my adoptive family every winter we skated. My mother loved to skate and my birthday being January 18th, I always had a skating party (whether I wanted to or not). often, melancholy, I would go off by myself. This poem arises from a mix of both heritages biological and adoptive.
Posted on April 9, 2009, in National Poetry Month, The Long Haul and Other Poems and tagged cultural heritage, Finnish writers, NMU Alumni, poetry by Kim Nixon, upper peninsula writers, writers with a sense of place. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.