An essay about a daughter, her father, and the love that lives within tense relationships.
I’m always asking myself if I’ll hurt in the same way my mother does.
My mother regards my lack of religion
As a choice to abandon our native tongue,
Speaking only as a heretic now.
My faith was never meant to be a hammer upon her traditions.
How desperately I want to piece her heart back together without cutting myself
on the jaded edges of compromise.
Your religion and heart are the same–
Each a rural hometown I send postcards to now.
I don’t worship in the house you do,
And that makes it no less sacred.
You defiant daughter is not the product of a lesser God.
Sacrament is what I call every selfless act someone else has done for me.
I am baptized in the gaze of everyone who sees me as I am.
Every thank you I say is a hallelujah,
Every I love you, an Amen.