A Student’s Take on How Her Life was Shaped By Her Family

Who I Am

Photo by Jireh Deng

By Jireh Deng, Contributor

They will all tell you something different;

My father remembers me the best day I was,

Strings in D-major canonizing the moment I was born.

My mother named me Jehovah Jireh,

after the heavenly providing that formed me in her womb.

My aunts and uncles, they saw me grow up in the church,

I was the good girl who came to all the Friday night Bible studies and Sunday messages,

but couldn't seem to stay awake through them.

My friends and my siblings will tell you I am from poetry and books.

Felled, I could show you the lines upon lines of unwritten prose ringed in my mind.

My existence is a series of seditious sacrileges.

The English nerd of two math teachers.

The questioning Christian,

The heavenly providing and the damned of hell.

No one stays the same,

I walk into your dictionary between the dichotomies to dismantle your definitives.

As a child, I used to think I was the antichrist,

all this havoc I wreak must have a meaning.

That is my story, but I want a different one.

Maybe, it does not matter where I’m from or where I’m going or who I am.

Not a daughter. Not an answer to a prayer. Not a sinner. Not a writer. Not a fighter. Not a battleground for you to defend your politics and your religion.

I am just a girl who is young and in love.

A tender gardener whose large loving hands can’t seem to quite fit her gloves,

who is learning to plant the seeds wisely one by one so she won’t wake up to find a bed full of thorns,

And she dreams of a day where she looks up at the sunset passing print painted patterns on leafy greens;

I could look up at all that liquid honey dripping sweetness before my eyes,

And think only of just how grateful I am to be alive.


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