I am the woman with two faces like Janus,
each profile looking in the opposite direction.
I am my father, the deceiver, the pretender,
the liar, the one who disappeared in the beginning
and never looked back whose heart must have been
like a bag of stones thrown from an archway into a river.
I am my mother, the fighter, looking in the opposite
direction—holding an unwanted child not knowing
what to do with it, standing in a doorway holding
on to it like groceries not sure exactly where to set it down
so she just carried it around and around.
Ellen June Wright lives in Northern New Jersey. She is a retired English teacher who consulted on guides for three PBS poetry series. Her work was selected as The Missouri Review’s Poem of the Week in June 2021, and she is a Cave Canem and Hurston/Wright alumna and received 2021 and 2022 Pushcart Prize nominations. Find her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EllenJuneWrites