How many times have we listened to speeches and lectures?
Read quotes and gestures,
Turned rhythm into blues with notes of the same ode
Audacious and bold
Trying to call to your soul like spiritual hymns
Willing you to forgive him
To forgive her
For their “mistake”…
Because somehow it’s for my own good?
And occasionally, that maybe true
But mostly, I wish I would
Allow you access to more of my gracious gifts to rob
What you can do is get cut by this side eye
You can listen as my once sweet words turn into direct disses
No tiptoeing around my feelings like broken dishes
Let’s break some more
You can feel coldness where there was once warmth
See darkness where there was once light
And experience curses in place of uplifting prayers,
My Anger has layers
And I find solace in it.
It’s the part of me that comes to my defense
It lets me know that it’s time to protect myself
To match disrespect
And be unapologetic in my choices,
No matter the judge and jury
I am the author of my own story.
When I say traditional forgiveness can kick rocks in Jesus sandals
Don’t look at me wide eyed
Ready to preach the word of god
Because I’m prepared to talk about it.
We can get into the floods and the plagues
And how Jesus and Lucifer are both referred to as the Morning-Star
But I can sense someone clutching their pearls like I’ve gone too far
So I’ll just say this
I don’t ask myself “What Would Jesus Do?”
I am another bad creation
I am made to do what I would do
So, when they go low, I will go lower
When they throw rocks, I will throw boulders
You came to disturb my peace
And I mean to reclaim it by any means necessary
Your feelings are now secondary
I will gift wrap my tantrums and present them to you
As I swim through my grief
Because that is how I reclaim my peace
Self-redemption is the only path I see
The only way to it is through me
Far be it for my soul to ache through the night,
Crying you a river of forgiveness to be baptized in,
Cleansing yourself of sins against me
Robbing me of my energy
Trying to break my Inner G
As I acquire emotional war scars from cracks and bruises on my heart, hurt And pain from betrayal
and abandonment, the depths of depression and friendships in question
I wield my darkness like a weapon
But my light cannot be snuffed out,
So still I rise like the OG Maya,
Like the Phenomenal Woman that I am,
Like the God gene flowing up my veins,
Tapping my third eye until I remember my identity…
And each time I’ve shed enough tears to drown in and yet survived
I remember this…
Like beings, create like beings in their image,
So God is within me & I am She,
I come in love & light
But invoke my wrath at your own risk
I serve vengeance with a chef’s kiss
Your inner God may forgive,
Editor’s Note: The Forgiveness Series
Some people find forgiveness to be a vital step in healing and freeing oneself to move forward from the pain of trauma. However, some say forgiveness is not necessary for healing, and instead choose to focus on their own emotional well-being and boundaries as pathways to healing.
Through reporting and poetry, we explore the complexity and nuance of forgiveness, and the impact it can have on our lives, families and communities. From a story of reconciliation to poems that question the concept of forgiveness, this collection offers a diverse range of perspectives and emotions.
We are excited about this thought-provoking and inspiring series on forgiveness and hope it encourages reflection and conversation around this universal human experience.
Byline: Kim Russell is a poet, writer, and storyteller.