Family

Treading Water: A Story of Domestic Violence

When you see me, you don’t know my secret. I hide it well. I share a story from shadows. My words must be spoken in whispers, in quiet places. For now.  He threw something at my head. It hit the target. Once he broke a chair and then threatened me. There was the time he […]

A Mutt, a Boxing Ring, and a Fight for Forgiveness

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb…. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in […]

Dear Portia: The Spiraling Journey of Forgiveness

How Do We Know When We’re Done Forgiving? Dear Portia, What does forgiveness look like when you work through the process and do your best, but either the offender never acknowledges their sin or they continue to offend? Not asking about boundaries, that’s pretty clear to me, but how do we know when we’re done? […]

Why My Family Reads Books with Working Class Characters

I’m driving down Lexington to drop off my daughter at her morning park and recreation camp. We pass over the railroad, and for the first time she notices the mobile homes to the right. It’s a “trailer court,” I tell her, and then I search for its synonyms: “trailer park…mobile home park.” “What’s it like […]

The Second Journey: A Call at Midlife

“I have been seized by the power of a great affection.” ~Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-up, and Burnt Out   Midlife crisis. It’s like a version of adolescence, only older. As my 50th birthday quickly approaches, I can attest to the unpredictable hormone changes, body shifts and mooood swwiiinnggs. […]

A Place to Land

I wrote this poem for Kate Motaung’s book release, A Place to Land. Kate’s journey to find home was a story I could relate to as a mujer navigating my own sense of home and place. I was overjoyed with she asked me to write a poem to read at the Festival of Faith and Writing, […]

Love in Shades of Multifaceted Men

From the passenger seat, I watched you turn your head in the inky black of the night and smiled to myself about how your face still shined through the darkness. You looked like a gem and you are one, with your many aspects and your beauty. I wished that everyone saw you the way I […]

Subversive Celebrations

The entrance to the seafood restaurant is flanked by a series of large windows. Inside I see white folks sit at the bar laughing, and nursing glasses of wine. Some glance as we pass, following us as we enter through the wooden door. We are here to celebrate Jonathan—our son graduated from college today. At […]

The Cost of Being a Transracial Adoptee

It did not rub off.  The “dirty” skin I was teased for just a few steps away from my favorite spot on the monkey bars, this dark skin felt permanent. Frustrated and glaring at skin and soul both, my childhood heart detached from part of my identity. I did not return to recover it again […]