AUTOBIOGRAPHY ||| Dunes Review




My mother’s eyes—a green sometimes blue, or gray—     my father
studied them
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 ReviewBriar Cliff ReviewGlass: A Journal of PoetryPleiades, and elsewhere. Find links to all her publications at

“AUTOBIOGRAPHY” originally appeared in Dunes Review (Volume 20, Issue II, Fall 2016).

See more of Natalie Solmer’s work in TLR: Granary