An elegy for Ignorance

An elegy for Ignorance

It was a process.
Like snow blanketing
the ground before turning
slush, dirt-caked, then melting
away completely. If it’s gone
long enough, you want it back.
Forgetting the marrow-chilling cold
and black ice roads,
only remembering silence.

Losing Him was like that.
I’d known him my whole life,
from my sterile birth, white
and pink swaddle, the doctor declaring
“It’s a girl!” and nobody questioning
not He, not me, that I was.

Treats at 7-11 after a preschool ballet
recital and it was He who asked my dad
what lesbians were. Girls
who love other girls. Unnatural,
forbidden, like the slushies
mom won’t let me have.

He was there with me in Sunday School
when whitewashed flannel graphs
taught me about us, Jesus, Moses,
God of fire and brimstone, so much

love held my hand up high. School
teacher called on me and I said
no, I’m not racist but,
affirmative action is. White
dirt-caked lies we all believed.

On my first day of college He was
waving wildly, everyone noticed.
It was the last time I saw Him.
I met new people who knew
what and who He was:
the “God-given” privilege
of being the invisible same.

He was always cradling
me in what I didn’t know
(what I don’t know). I want Him back
sometimes. Before the slush,
dirt-caked, melted away.
How quiet
and painless
the white was.


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