I am a paralegal and a barista, a farmer and a cook,
a dancer, a designer, a stay-at-home mom.
I’m a teacher, an administrator, a proofreader, a geek,
and a million other things I don’t yet know.
I’m the burned-out attorney fearing change
and the eager young schmoozer swearing I’ll get you a job.
I’m the activist fighting for change, the immigrant with the dashed dreams, and
the unemployed white guy applying for food stamps for the first time
finding out I’m only eligible for $16.
I’m the young mom trying to pay the rent and support four kids on $673 a month.
I’m the overloaded caseworker with no respect for you and no respect for me.
I am the 9/11 survivor who knows there’s no such thing as closure.
I am the drunken college students celebrating victory.
I am Barack Obama watching from the White House Situation Room.
I am the U.S. Navy SEALS snipers.
I am Osama bin Laden. I know the pain of living in a fortress.
I am the stout old Russian couple walking on the bike path morning after morning after morning.
I am the Buddha.
I am Jesus Christ.
I am a runner on the Shorewood boys cross country team, running loose and free.
I am the overweight, overdressed runner plodding along.
I am the woman watching, judging you all as you go past. I know the pain of being apart.
I am the child running hand-in-hand with you, so fast I think we’re flying.
I am the dog bounding through the snow, the Tarahumara, the antelope.
I am the woman running with a smile on her face and tears pouring down her cheeks.