In a little coffee shop,
looking like a snug home from the outside
funny how sometimes cruel things can be
disguised so innocently
the first time you brought me here.
I thought of it as completely innocent.
Innocent as I sought to support you.
Innocent as I knew it was only a bible study group.
Innocent as younger generations don’t tend
to be as hostile
though they still can be
I remember the first time.
The first time, your study group spoke of the
And I silently prayed you
would find a way to excuse me,
oh, because walking out would be
what is wrong with me...
but you were too busy asking questions for
And I just sat there.
and sat there.
my heart burning of memories of how i’m
destined for the Christian Hell as of course
is reminded to me by others
and doing my best to avoid eyes.
The first time...
In a small room we sat in a circle
the door closed
The only one without a book in hand-
i’ve read yours from cover to cover
-I know what happens next, trust me.
The first time
I told you in the car, I felt
too anxious to admit the full story
for why it hurt to sit there
I wanted to support you,
but at the end of the day,
I didn’t belong in that room.
You understood and smiled,
even kissed me.
Now, the second time,
we spent the day on a long hike.
You told me, you would drop me off at
the house where I was working as a live-in maid,
then come back hours later to pick me up again.
curses to me for not owning a car
but for you
a drive to drop me off
a drive to somewhere else
a drive back to me
a drive to dinner
a drive to take me back...
that was too much, why-
“I have Bible study.”
was it guilt?
but maybe a little
just take me with you
The coffee house had more than
I told you not to worry
about the extra miles,
or the extra time.
Now, I sit at a table alone,
as you sit in the room surrounded.
A part of me feels relief
if drawing on a paper cup is
a good distraction?
will i ever be kept outside from you?
In a couple of days, it will be the third time.
Since sitting alone
I learned about how your group
asked about me.
You told them I was nervous
about the topic of conversation.
did you tell them i was Pagan?
They offered to speak to me,
but before the swarm took off,
you stopped them.
You told them to leave me be.
did i ever tell you about the looks and names?
a part of you wonders if you are a good
Christian if you choose to stay with me.
after all when i told you you told me we could only
be friends or at least until you spoke to your grandfather
who told you you were being ridiculous
I can have no say in what that means.
you also said you loved by character.
my character is pretending i didn’t feel
anything from that text
my character is saying yes to you again
two days later
I can handle any of your friends or family that
will despise me.
you know i’ve had worse
As I thought about writing this,
sitting in the car,
next to you,
you reached out to hold my hand
as you always do.
I can’t help but think about
one thing over and over and over
all they did was take thin shreds
of an Old Tree and tattoo their own
Ink onto thin pages. however, the roots are still there.
I know this anger deep inside me needs leave,
as I know the few cannot define the many,
as I know one day you will no longer
struggle with the idea of me.
when i once studied the Bible, i found much of
it peaceful and good
but i struggle not to let myself hate even demons
who use religion as a thin shield to spread venomous hate!
whether that means you will
love me or
I do not know.
Brooke is currently a junior at Hollins University studying English with concentrations in Creative Writing and Multi-Cultural Literature. During the week, she works with Alumnae Relations for Hollins and on the weekends is a waitress at Harbor Inn Seafood. In her spare time, she will often go on hikes or out swimming. If not outside, then she will be in reading and writing. Much of Brooke’s poetry reflects her and her mother’s experiences as being a Pagan and a Wiccan respectively.