On Growing Up in Zion

First of all, it’s constantly being asked:

“Are you Mormon?” and then,

“Do you want to come to church with me?”

It’s trying to maintain friendships

even after they drop a Book of Mormon

into the relationship, their eyes saucers –

naive.

 

It’s trying to decide whether to speak up,

dissent,

or to embrace the diplomatic silence, the

tight-lipped smile for the sake of peace and

family.

 

It’s always being an outsider, a

you-look-like-us-but-don’t-believe-like-us….

what?

 

It’s sitting in your room on a Saturday night

waiting

for the phone to ring so your best friend

can tell you all about her date and the dance.

Thinking you didn’t get asked to go only because

you aren’t one of them.

 

(Fashioned after, and inspired by, Patricia Smith’s What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl (for those of you who aren’t)).

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