My mother’s eyes—a green sometimes blue, or gray— my father
the way he studied light with his camera lens
constantly, there was a sadness, Slavic and cloud-like.
My parents trailed this into the high school gymnasium.
Tall and shy, they danced an awkward sway. What clouds
did they give me? What did I take?
I worry them, I think of my mother’s Polish nickname—cebula.
They called her onion for her eyes, huge and moony.
She was lonely and in love with her record player, nightly
lifting its needle. My father’s heart was full of math,
and broken cherry trees. I was born blue
at the end of tornado season,
spent time in an oxygen tent
while a storm’s green soup passed through.
Natalie Solmer is the Founder and Editor- In-Chief of The Indianapolis Review, and she is an Assistant Professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis. Her poetry can be found in North American Review, Briar Cliff Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Pleiades, and elsewhere. Find links to all her publications at www.nataliesolmer.com
“AUTOBIOGRAPHY” originally appeared in Dunes Review (Volume 20, Issue II, Fall 2016).
See more of Natalie Solmer’s work in TLR: Granary.