“Should That Be Enough?” by Cristina DeSouza
I was born from an anonymous womb. Have I told you
as soon as it happened, I was injected into other people’s lives?
That I never knew my mother’s lap and I can still hear my birth mother’s deep voice?
Have I told you my adopted mother’s voice was more soprano?
Have I told you I cried day and night to that unfamiliar voice who sang to me
and rocked me in vain, amid sunny days and rainy nights?
Should I tell you I was never able to find my birth mother, even though I tried?
She vanished in time & space … Should I tell you I am not Black nor White
and as such can’t claim either?
Should I tell you how I ran away from my country at age 23
to do a medical residency in the US, to move away from everything,
everything I don’t know? I don’t feel belonging here or there, to anything or anybody but myself.
Should that be enough?
Nowadays I look for the story of how I came about. From my past,
only DNA results and yet, I still don’t belong to any land, any country, any person,
any color, any race, any culture. People who knew something
have long died. The hospital where I was born has burned down to the ground
after an arson fire. My birth certificate states my adopted parents are my natural parents.
My birthdate was altered for family reasons,
thus, I don’t even know my sign and can’t find it out.
I anguished over so much unknown, but fear of knowing
makes it hard for me to grasp it.
Amid worlds, colors, races, and places, I feel lost and free to a fault.
Before, there are only the things I don’t know. After, I leave
no trace of my DNA for posterity.
I am a ghost among other living things and I fear my existence
is useless. But I must accept it and move on.
Cristina DeSouza is a physician who writes poetry. “Should That Be Enough?” is from her memoir in poems. From her artist’s statement: “My writing is how I emote, how I think, how I am.”