Image of Long Story Short Award - 2022
Image of Poetry
I am from an ex-Mormon family,
made up of four black sheep—
shunned by over 97 second-cousins.

I am from creationism and story tellers,
void of evolution and climate change.
I am from decaf tea and orange soda,
from Family Home Evening and scriptures.
I am from the Utah desert and Idaho plains,
isolated beauty and self-reliant communities.

I am from Hungarian philosophers and physicists,
tie dye and wildflower watercolors,
I am from artists and gypsies.
I am from organic PB & pickle sandwiches,
and homemade hazelnut granola.
From mountain climbers and hitch hikers,
adventure seekers and dreamers.

I am from the Rose City of lush fern forests,
Trillium Lake and the McKenzie River rapids.
I am from Haystack Rock and Ecola State Park—
tufted puffins and caves scattered with starfish.
I am from environmentalists and gardeners,
leaving behind flowers but picking up trash.

I am from hard work and resilience,
from "bite on a stick" pain relief,
and "rub some dirt on it" antibiotics.
I am from those that heal with prayer,
and those that heal with herbs.

I am from two extremes,
spiritual dreamers and Mormons—
one will tell you they are more righteous.
I am from gradual change and acceptance.
I am from honesty and truth,
from spiritual guidance and good will,
and listening before arguing.

I am from two rivers of belief,
born into a family standing at the fork.
Pushed to the curb of the Celestial Kingdom,
I am joined by my parents and brother,
turning around and blazing a trail,
knowing that there are more than two beliefs,
that govern this world.