It’s tenuous, hand-hammered, strong despite
its femininity. The band is harmony of fortitude
and finesse, the subtle art that I haven’t yet mastered,
Knowing how to be strong, to do the hard
things, to be the person everyone always
needs me to be without feeling and being a
lumberjack walking through a garden
of teacups, crushing delicacies.
I wear the wispy, ardent band, coping with
my unrefined identity, running my finger over it
each time I feel uncomfortable, drawing it near
my palm, falling in love with the cultured consistency.
M. West, an Arkansas native raised on southern sunshine, expresses personal but universal truths on love, heritage, struggle, and survival. As a first-generation college graduate, the granddaughter of fruit pickers explores, through her creative process, her blue-collar heritage and its impacts, both desirable and undesirable, on her identity. Her love of poetry is largely credited to her father who kept worn collections of poems scattered around the family home and read novels aloud to her at bedtime. M. West, currently pursuing a graduate degree in counseling, observes and relays human behavior, along with its quirks, normalcies, and outliers. M. West enjoys drinking black coffee at sunrise, traveling, walking with her shepherd dogs, and spending time with her family. She appreciates Sunday brunch, collecting local art, and performing poetry and music.