My daughter asked me if I’ve always been

A tangled woman. I told her insanity

Could be hereditary, that you get it

From your children. I’ve been asked to be

A sweeter person for my daughter’s sake

But damned if I’ll go back to that again.

Besides, I like the way I am just fine.

She called me “tangled,” like the piles of rope

I haul around for men to pitch the tent

Pavilion sets on wedding party lawns.

It’s great to see the lines go up and tight

On temporary buildings, then to see

Them all torn down again. It’s been my job

To drive the truck around. I like it fine.

Today I crossed the carcass of a dog,

And all around it purple butterflies

Were spiraling.

They splattered on my truck

And so tonight I brought a few inside.

The wings of one were still in motion, lifting

Up and down. I held it to the light

And saw its knotted patterning of lines,

Like stitches Mother tried to teach me once

Before I ran away. I hated knots,

And looking at the butterfly got me

Riled up again, enough to take the truck

Across that river bridge with all the rows

Of yellow guard-rail lights. I had in mind

To swerve against the side and shoot on past

The safety lights, another kind of tit for tat,

But what’s the use in one way to die?

I kept on going.

Now it’s three A.M.

And I’ve been driving with the windows down

Across the northern Alabama line.

Feels like I’m being pulled this way somehow,

My destiny by accident, like once

Back home, my mother left her knitting work

In the kitchen, walked outside and saw the end

Of yarn was caught around her shoe.

I feel like that, pulled out, unraveled.

But I like it fine.

Wilmer Mills

Uncharted Territory: My Journey Of Self Discovery

What do these texts suggest to you about the impact significant events have on an individual’s ability to determine their own destiny?

“What do you want to be when you grow up,” was an innocent enough question when I was five but now that I am sixteen it sends chills down my spine. I am feeling more and more grown up and increasingly less certain of who I want to become when I reach adulthood. Further, I am left uncertain of who is meant to realize my destiny. Wilmer Mills’ The Tent Delivery Woman’s Ride is a poem that displays outstanding sympathy; Mills’ understanding of the fear and uncertainty an individual faces whilst attempting to realize who they want to become rings true to anyone at any stage of life – especially a nervous sixteen-year-old.


The poem, written as a stream of consciousness, outlines the woman’s journey on a path of self-discovery and the hardship that comes along with that. Beginning by addressing the perception others, specifically her daughter, have of her journey of self-discovery – “tangled” – Mills opens the poem darkly as readers are forced to address the cruel realities of life first. Furthermore, the reference to false personas and the rejection of them when it is stated, “damned if I’ll go back to that again” suggests aspects of the woman’s past that she cannot bring herself to relive in hopes of pleasing anyone. Upon first reading it, I loved the poem as it did not feel forced in the way it was written. It felt conversational and kind, allowing me to willingly find my own truths in it.


I have frequently found myself attempting to please everyone and, as a result, forgetting to find peace or happiness in who I really am. An example of this would be in saying yes to too many tasks and not realizing until the last moment that I have booked myself for four events at once – truly, does not work out in the slightest. At a young age, older than five, mind you, I began to pursue a path of self discovery, primarily in my spirituality, and was overwhelmed by the amount of times I was scoffed at by people who, at one time, I loved dearly but simply could not understand why I was so committed to the renewal and cleansing of my soul. It was a great step for me to take as I was finally prioritizing myself and the mocking made it feel like a selfish decision instead of a necessary one. The woman, on the other hand, refused to live for anyone else – a trait I greatly admired in her. Further, I was able to relate to the character of the daughter as I felt she represented my younger, more naive self. As much as it hurt to realize, my younger self would too have mocked at a journey of spiritual discovery as I was so content conforming to the ideologies of others that I relinquished my ability to be a free- thinker.  With this, I realize that my decision to disregard the opinions of others and continue my pursuit of spiritual peace was the best one I could have made for my current and younger self. When I was five I was not really sure who I was but was so quick to answer who I wanted to be because I allowed everyone around me to construct my ideals for me; I would like to think that if my five-year-old-self saw the autonomy that self-discovery brings she would be a little bit more supportive. Though, at times, it is most certainly very hippie sounding and bizarre I am willing to explore all parts of my psyche, regardless of judgements, if it means I am able to decide who I wish to become, not allowing anyone else to dictate my existence again.


 The poem continues with the orator discussing her day and the sighting of a dead dog surrounded by purple butterflies suggesting her admiration and appreciation for beauty even in the most gruesome of circumstances. Moreover, her memories of running away from home triggering a suicide attempt subtly suggest to readers the aspects of her dark past that she has yet to reconcile as they evidently still have a great hold on her. Finally, the last stanza’s discussion of her three A.M drive allowing her to realize her destiny as “unraveled”, rather than “tangled”,  bringing about a sense of contentment, serves as the denouement of her journey of self-discovery. Though she may not know who she wants to be or understand all aspects of her past she found peace in who she is. I was able to find greater truths in the last two stanzas of the poem as it showed me how hypocritical and fruitless my quest to understand myself is.


I, like the woman, cannot help but find beauty in everyday life – the gruesomeness of which is represented by the dog. I do this as a sort of coping method when the severity of hardship get difficult to avoid realizing. Moreover, I have far too many repressed feeling and memories to allow “the carcass of a dog” to result in an emotional breakdown – much like the orator. With my rose coloured lenses, I view the world in hues of pink for I know no other way to see it. Along with this comes the disruptiveness of memories in my perfect view of the world as when I relive moments of my past I have yet to come to terms with my rose coloured lenses are no good and my sanity is left marred; thus, I am sent tumbling into fits of hysteria. I am stuck being “tangled” because I’ve closed off so much of my past that it’s all become lost in the mess that I have become. When I do finally begin to attempt to detangle, if you will, I cry. Uncontrollably and all at once, I cry. Be it smack dab in the middle of a Tim Horton’s after a heartfelt conversation or in my room alone, I truly cannot handle addressing my past. Aside from the discomfort of crying, I avoid addressing my past due to the feeling of failure and submission I associate with hysteria. These moments of overwhelming emotion have most certainly lead to meagerly thought things being done or said; however, I have yet to run away from home. Be it due to fear or excessive comfort, I have never been able to bring myself to do it no matter how badly I wanted to.


What I have done, however, is run away from the home I created for myself – my heart, soul, and mind. Essentially the only home that will ever be consistently mine is the one that I have chosen to disregard and allow whatever vermin may come find comfort within it. I allowed myself to believe that being emotionally numb would allow for better self-discovery as I wouldn’t have to worry about the hassle of judgement but, in reality, this has only inhibited me from realizing my destiny as it has prohibited me from realizing who I want to become. I am unable to “unravel” myself when I chose to disregard the aspects of me that make me whole.


I am not able to find my peace. Unlike the woman, I do not understand the feeling of contentment she found because I am attempting to find half of who I am while I leave the rest hidden, undiscovered, and unwanted. It is draining attempting to avoid my past in hopes of preserving my future but when it comes down to it I truly do not have much of a future with only half of who I am. Ergo, my decision to amputate the aspects of myself and of my past that scare me prevent my destiny from being as wonderful as I want it to be as I will never know who I am if I am only partly myself.


I justify inserting this because I’m a Cancer, but seriously it’s beautiful – that is enough justification for me


Credit Where Credit is Due:



More of Robin Eisenberg’s beautiful work can be found here (view at your own risk):


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6 thoughts on “Transformation

  1. Dearest Ibukun,

    This piece was stellar and truly beautiful. I am seriously impressed on how you were able to “personalize’ your personal so well. Your voice was clear and effective and much like the poem, this piece flowed without redundancy or any stale thoughts. Thank you for opening yourself up to your audience with this piece. It is especially hard to make insights into one self, and I applaud you for honestly coming forward and mentioning the flaws of your constant “pursuit of happiness” if you will. I know you to be a person who is so in tune with your own self and your psyche and spirituality that after reading this I felt like I knew you better after you could admit not only your reasons for doing so, but also the sense of false fulfillment it gives you sometimes. As for the prompt, I sincerely appreciate how you were able to respond fluidly and easily without shoving the theme down your reader’s throat. Your critical analysis of the poem was tied in well your own personal accounts, and I love how you put yourself in the shoes of the woman in the poem. Bravo.

    If I were to provide any to work on (besides the obvious GUMP here or there), I would recommend perhaps mentioning some semblance of a theme in your earlier paragraphs. I was able to follow your argument well enough, and while I appreciate the true personal aspect of this response, I do believe that mentioning a theme statement would further unite your argument.

    Also Ibukun, I would like to say that your writing does truly inspire me every time I read it. I am in awe of you and your soul, truly.

    Thank you for this beautiful post.

    With love,


    1. Dear Yas,
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting; your kind words are cherished. I am so happy that you enjoyed it and had such kind words to say – aw, shucks!

      I will be sure to go over the post again and attempt to clear up my gumps, thank you. As for the theme suggestion, I will be sure to implement that in my future personals.

      Thank you yet again for reading and commenting. 🙂


  2. Dear Ibukun,

    I am truly grateful for you putting this piece out into the universe – for the energy emitted from this is one of absolute necessity. I think that the unifying topics you discussed about our own self struggles is something that everyone can understand and relate to, you made it your own while allowing others to understand. My favorite line in this piece is, “What I have done, however, is run away from the home I created for myself – my heart, soul, and mind. Essentially the only home that will ever be consistently mine is the one that I have chosen to disregard and allow whatever vermin may come find comfort within it.” Reading that was like getting a glimpse into my own soul, I always think of a home as a literal and physical thing – something filled with the things I love – but when you point out how a home can be built within ourselves through what makes us, US – the heart, soul, and mind – makes me realize that if I can fill a physical home with the things I love, than what stops me from filling the home that’s within myself. Thank you for offering such a insightful view into self love.

    As Yas had said above, I think mentioning a theme statement at the beginning would put everything into a full circle and allow a clearer view to your connection with the prompt!

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece Ibukun.


    1. Dearest Judy,
      Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read and comment – such a blessing to have your kind words in my comments. I am so overjoyed that you were able to find it a worthwhile read and that it gave some insight into self-love – a very underrated practice if you ask me. Hopefully, the “glimpse into my soul” wasn’t too bothersome 😉

      As I stated, I will for sure attempt to implement a clearer theme statement into my future personals – thank you for your suggestion!

      Thanks again for reading and commenting; I am very grateful.


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