Lost in Translation

She sits on the stoop with brows furrowed into a knot. She drops a tear that belongs to her mother and she cannot begin to voice the words that allow me to understand her. She throws her arms in rage because she thinks I cannot hear her. She climbs to her highest peak and bellows the words of her ancestors. Her cloud of emotion sits right above her head. The lightning strikes once and triggers for an oncoming storm.

She bursts.

More than words, a culture and values I do not understand.

I try to speak, but the words I find sound nothing like hers. I try to breathe, my chest tight, my face flushed.

My storm begins.

Slowly at first then thunder rumbles as an instigator.

She strikes.

Never twice in the same spot

She leaves scars unusual; burns of burden

And invites divine sanctions to curse me into shame. 

We call to our God but cry different names.

She whispers her hate. I whisper my forgiveness.


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