{Illustrated Soul}

 I suppose all people are born in pain, I am no different.

Though, in truth, I was born of pain.

My mother’s life was constant purgatory,

and late at night she’d whisper to me and

my brother’s and sister’s that we were her only joy.

There was no one like her, small, dark and quiet, a raven in a sea of doves.

But in a flock of doves, no one notices the shining wings,

or the long neck covered in translucent feathers that reflect rainbows.

All they saw was a flaw.

She was already dark, so they fought to make her a shadow.

They threw mud to dull her,

rocks to crack her,

and words to shatter her.

Yet mother did nothing to them.

We were her resistance, born young, out of an early pain that grew and grew.

I was impregnated out of a sadness so great she birthed me in the labor of her hope,

her release that was in effort to make life better.

Her pain gave birth to beauty.

She doesn’t regret those taunts,

because they created something that outlived that pain.

Out of that hell, she forged a heaven more real than anything they ever did.

My mother drew me, out of paper and pen.

Her heart, that ached,

created life from the lifeless,

from the simple choice not to be broken.

From such sadness, my mother illustrated my soul.

by Nicole Dominguez

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