My innocence lies between crucifixes and teddy bears.
Casualty of war between sexuality and faith.
Abandoned by a God I was raised to love.
Tormented by a love I was taught to hate.
It died holding my stuffed bear.
Amidst internal screams that tore me apart.
How could unconditional love have a sinner’s heart?
As if my own demons weren’t enough.
Teddy was the only one to show me love.
Never seemed to care.
What I was or wasn’t and held me tight,
Through countless cries that rang to the heavens
For a love we were taught would never leave us
Holding on to the only comfort little girls know
In the darkness
“C’mere Teddy let me hug you.”
Still the battle rages
And enslaves us
Nightmares wake us to a new day
Branding our minds with labels that blame us
But my teddy kept my hope alive.
For countless martyrs nailed to the cross
of someone else’s beliefs.
For little girls who imagine her Teddy to be a “she”.
I wear the labels that tear tender flesh.
Raped, dismissed, and left to be forgotten
But War cries still echo…
Let us “Be!”
For every heartbeat…
For every pulse …
that innocence will rise from the ashes,
proud and unafraid.
Bearing our cross that screams
we have earned the love of the God who made us this way!
And one day,
maybe I will come to love myself enough
that I stop the “Hail Marys”
Put my rosary away.
Watch my daughter and her teddy bear play.
And maybe then,
I will tell my beautiful wife about my stuffed teddy
and how it saved my life.