I Was Born this Way

I am from run-down red barns

and fences that lost their animals long ago.

I am from the rocks whose rank and formation

were decided long before I knew their names.

I am from the buttercups on my “Sound of Music” hill

and the bucket of blueberries I stole from my pastor’s daughter.

I am from the dirt lane leading to the dumpster

where Mr. Good Year Scarecrow and I drank tea every afternoon.

I am from the forbidden mechanical junk yard

and the haunted sugar shack

where David was stabbed in the eye with a rusted nail.

I’m from the crown of antlers on a stuffed deer,

from raw toes sticking out of holey socks

and wet wool scarves that precede the hot cocoa and peppermint.

I’m from church cheeseburger soup nights

and chilly air tasting like pixie sticks.

I’m from the demon-possessed midnight moon,

from “wicked,” “mad,” and “good” all meaning the same thing.

I’m from the heritage of a man from Steamtown,

but I’m from the dead chicken I buried in the insulation.

I’m settled securely in the third pew of Mountain View Bible Church,

self-sufficient,

unknowingly lashing out at the people I love–

because everyone views everyone through a frozen window.

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