I never understood
being taken to church and temple
week after week
prayed for, prayed upon, made to pray.
Celebrating all the festivals
from Diwali to Christmas
and everything in between,
enjoying the sweets prepared
with such reverence by those with faith so deep.
I never understood those parents
who advertised their kids’ religion
painting them with white chalk on their forehead,
sending them out with crosses and Oms,
forcing them to read the texts,
stories of creation from a time long ago.
I never understood until my child was born.
How can you not believe in God?
When two imperfect people joined
to create a perfect being, breathtaking,
ten fingers, ten toes, a smile so sweet.
Heart breaks to think of it ever wiped away.
I now know why parents anoint their kids
desperately keeping their eyes closed
clasping their hands together
prostrate at the alter
fervently trading promises for their protection.
We try anything and everything
to keep them safe and away from danger.
Fiercely protective like
a pride of lions,
a herd of elephants,
a shepherd with his sheep
was born and raised in the Twin Islands of Trinidad & Tobago, Stacey-Ann Sukharrie migrated to Canada as a pre-teen. Her writing is informed by personal experiences, ongoing connection to both birth and adoptive countries and educational background (Honors Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto- Major in English Literature/Double Minor in Women's Studies and Political Sciences). She has been employed in the Financial Services Industry for the last 20 years. Stacey-Ann is passionate about empowering humans and leads authentically in all aspects of her life. She enjoys giving back to the community via volunteer work with a focus on diversity initiatives.