To Be Mennonite

Written Spring of 2003
As found in my journal

They called you “yellow” and “coward”
despite your husband serving in Grottoes, Va,
far away from the growing child within you.

They didn’t understand your 
service to mankind as you
put out fires in Luray, Va, studied effects on quail,
ate sliders and grinders, and made
lifetime friends.

Mom and Dad—you represented
the Mennonite faith.
You began your life together
during hard times,
times of war and Civilian Public Service,
times of children born to parted parents, children
unacqainted with your difficult,
life-changing decisions.

At age 13, I cryingly explained to you
why I couldn’t wear a covering,
and at age 19,
why I questioned the words of Apostle Paul,
why I believed women should be allowed to speak in public.

And you patiently waited, waited for the
Mennonite in me to emerge, tested by 
the trials of life,
hoping I could withstand
the temptations of materialism and 
overzealous plaintiffs
to recover

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