Poem for remembrance of Becky Morton by Elisabeth Gerber

Who are you?

Who are you, sitting in our midst as if you belong here.
Didn’t anyone tell you?
The unwritten rules?
The expectations?

Who are you, entering boldly. And staying.
Who are you, taking no heed. Or did you?
Why are you here, do you have no other place to sit?
Shouldn’t you be over there? Or there?

Why do you speak so confidently, as if you knew?
Did they tell you?
Did you know?
Do you know?

Their words, their faces, their breath. Listen closely.

Who are you?

You look the same, but different.
You sound the same, but different.

I can’t tell. Are you?

I know you. You’re that one.
I knew I’d find you.
But why are you here?
You could be there, or there, or there.
But you are here.

I need you.

Can you help me?
Can you help me?

I can’t see it, can you? Yes.

I can’t hear it, can you? Yes.

Why is this so hard?

Because you want it, you want it so much. It’s yours. So why is it so hard?

Didn’t anyone tell you, the unwritten rules, the expectations?
Didn’t anyone tell you?

I’ll tell you. No. Show you.

I’ll show you how to hear but not hear, see but not see, speak but not speak, think but not think, be here but not here. Or there.

Why is this so hard?
Because you know.
Did they tell you?
Did you know?

Do you know?

Who are you?

Can you help me?
Can you help me?

Let’s just go.
No.
No?

You want it, you want it so much. It’s yours.

Didn’t anyone tell you, the unwritten rules, the expectations?
Didn’t anyone tell you?

Yes. Who are you?


– Eliasabeth Gerber, University of Iowa