Recovering Mormon
Published in

Recovering Mormon

Poetry from “work in progress”

Families, amIright?


active Mormons constantly bemoan
how former Mormons
“leave the church, but can’t leave it alone.”

in other words, you don’t want to be
a part of it, fine, but shutthefuckup about it

here’s the problem with that.

we have believing family members
who continue on
in entitled glory
while the non-believer’s face is shoved
into the believers’ rituals:

okay, let’s all get ready
for the blessing on the food

you are invited to weddings
you’re forbidden to attend.

you’re expected to attend church
for rituals such as baptisms
and baby blessings.

you’re damned if you show,
you’re damned if you don’t.

the second thing is the biggest:
leaving a church that is a way of life,
a belief system designed to saturate
every facet of one’s life,
is a process.

the Mormon faith is like hot tar
that’s been poured over
your body —

when you leave, you peel it off in sections,
taking your own skin
with it at times.

so i don’t leave it alone.

i still have places that are tacky —
i worry at the tar,
my fingers peeling away
the infiltration into my spirit
and self,

but it’s been so long for me that
not much skin
peels off anymore

except when it comes to god.

then i’m left raw and sore
the grandest of all deceptions
was that there was a loving father
who had my back.

one day
i may be free of that fucking
tar masque that hides
in the creases and folds
of my skin,

and then i can walk away.

then i can shutthefuckup.

but i wouldn’t hold your breath —

tar may come off
but tar stains
go deep and where skin
was pulled-free leaves behind
a shiny, pink blemish
reminiscent of someone, once
beloved, who enveloped you in
trusted arms

only to leave you
with a memory of
the betrayal
given in the guise

of a kiss.

From work in progress: dialogues & poems, by J.A. Carter-Winward

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J.A. Carter-Winward

J.A. Carter-Winward

J.A. Carter-Winward, an award-winning poet & novelist. Author site, , blog: Facebook and Youtube

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