Friday, February 8, 2013

blake the flake

coat of colors - Linda Joyce

couldn't tell the story 
when it happened 
over a year ago

couldn't tell it because
voices in the larger church 
made it clear 
it was not safe to tell such stories 
especially when i was searching 
for a permanent call

those voices still yammer away
but the fear 
for me
is gone

my fear was freed 
with the joy of a coat 
with many colors

a coat of colors 
worn by an american women 
living in scotland

i'll not ever forget her email
asking if she could put my name on her 
coat of many colors 
she was designing 
to be worn during the general assembly 
of the church of scotland

may i put your name on my coat?
and if i may
how do you want 
your name to appear?

with those two questions 
i stopped on the side of the road
at the top of the hill they call 
seven mile hill 
outside nashville
because you can see for seven miles 
on clear days

on top of seven mile hill 
i cried
i wept 
the heaving kind
but this time 
heaving with joy

when i got myself together 
i emailed 
the american woman
living in scotland 

put my name on your 
coat of many colors 
i replied

i want my name to appear as 
blake the flake


the rhyme
that had long been the bane of my existence 

flake coupled with blake 
because it sounded funny
but it also 
carried with it the sting 
of bullies

was the underlying theme


with my blake 
on your coat with many colors
was my reply 

paint on my name
and wear it in the land 
of my ancestors 

wear it with 
the joy and the pride 
i have finally been 
able to garner for myself

wear it as a 
that fear will no 
longer rule 
in my heart

wear my name
the flake 

wear it 
and know
that you have 
honored me
more than you 
can ever know

wear it
the american woman 
living in scotland

wear it 
and proclaim
the good 

good news!

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