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Birthright

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I wrote this poem for my dad's sister, whom I haven't heard from in 7 years. I never thought too much of it, but then my dad told us he heard from our grandparents that the reason she doesn't talk to me, my brother, and my sister is because we're "not Christian enough." Being Native American, that struck a chord with me.

Please, no atheist comments, that's not what this is really about. xoxo.

~~~~

I’ll never be your baptized baby

That mewling catastrophe of Original Sin,

Nestled by the swaddle of thorns,

And drowning in the sap of your olive tree

I’m just too innocent

I was born in that in-between,

Where the lines of faith and fear

Are blurred from that first breath.

I forgot to hit my head

And then it was up to me.

I was raised in that double-wide, double standard reservation

You never bothered to visit me at.

You became the nomad,

While I became the settler.

Where do YOU call home?

I lived in her world long before

I ever knew to struggle in yours.

I’ll never be “Christian enough”

Because “blasphemy”

Was the first word I learned.

The first smell I knew was cedar,

The first taste I knew was corn,

The first love I had was the light.

My blood ran through this nation of sinners,

The only place where my heart beats right

You found your faith through fear

I kept mine with love.

Though I prayed and sang in your language,

I heard the answers and music in hers.

What damnation am I fearful of?


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