To My Religion: Good-Bye Thoughts And Wishes Poem by Erin Cowart

To My Religion: Good-Bye Thoughts And Wishes

I was done
Packed my bags
Ran from the grasp
Of Liars and Cons

Considered myself lucky
To know the truth
And walk away
Mostly intact

No damage
No harm
No foul

It's funny the lies we tell
To mitigate pain

Only now as I unravel
Myself from the knots that were tied
Does the insidious truth
Raise its sneaky head

Were my choices even mine?
Was every thought under your control?
To make me like you
To do what you say
To believe as you believe

And to have been placed
At your mercy
By those who were supposed to protect
Is a bitter pill to swallow

They did not know
But I ask myself how did they not know
When it was so plain to me
Once I looked

They were trained not to look
And I guess they were better at not looking than me
I guess I failed at not looking

I like to think walking away was easy
I do not give it a second thought
On most days…

Other days I realize
That walking away was the easy part
Living away
Separate from the thing
Is a much harder task

Unwrapping everything I am
Outside of what I was told to be
Dissecting my actions and thoughts
To eviscerate any trace of things that are not me

Weeping when the letting go seems endless
Rejoicing when it is freeing
Running when it is overwhelming
Cowering in fear when letting go means losing

Losing family
Losing promises
Losing community

Yet here I find myself decidedly unlost
I am found
In the deep places you never wanted me to know existed
This joy is what you are afraid of
If anyone felt this
They would never settle for your imitation

So today I will let go
Of fear
Of shame
Of guilt
Of the things you told me I would feel
If I strayed from your path

I stand
With my feet on solid ground
Built by my true heart and hands
A foundation on which I can safely build
The life I will design

Some days I may look over my shoulder
But not with regret for lost things
With hope for a time that you will find yourself
A horrid memory of the past
A reminder of the worst parts of humanity
That gradually faded in to the recesses of time
Where you cannot hurt anyone ever again.

I will smile
I will play with my children
The ones who will not be bound to you
The ones who will be good without you
The ones who will rise uncaged

I will thank the tears
And Doubts
And Fears
That led me away
That opened the cage
And set me free.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Topic(s) of this poem: religion
For the first 42 years of my life I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. About two years ago I started having doubts about the truthfulness of the church and religions in general. I did my research and never looked back...
Erin Cowart

Erin Cowart

Gainesville, FL
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