Published on December 11th, 2018 | by Noriko Nakada


Not Your Job


after Caitlyn Siehl


When the doctor went to pierce

the flap of skin under your nose

with his sterile silver hook

I told you to squeeze my hand

and said, “You are so brave”

sending all of the questions

creeping into the corners

about a scar

on your little nose

or alterations

to the shape

of your heart-shaped nostrils

back to your birth

and people saying how pretty

how beautiful

how lovely

while I insist you are smart, and kind, and sassy

so even if the stitches heal perfectly

it doesn’t matter.

You don’t have to be pretty.

It’s not your job.

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About the Author

Noriko Nakada writes, blogs, tweets, parents, and teaches middle school in Los Angeles. She is committed to writing thought-provoking creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. Publications include two book-length memoirs: Through Eyes Like Mine and Overdue Apologies.Excerpts, essays, and poetry have appeared in Catapult, MeridianCompose, Kartika, Hippocampus, The Rising Phoenix Review, and Linden Avenue.

2 Responses to Not Your Job

  1. I love this so much that after multiple rereads, I decided to share it on my blog. Thanks for writing.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about this little poem on your blog. You might want to read Caitlyn Seihl’s “It Is Not Your Job” from her book What We Buried that inspired this poem. It has similar themes and ideas with very different imagery.

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