not in Primary anymore

erasure i. the murder: a poem

By Emily


Erasure I. The Murder

the prophets kill Mother
while Father watches.

with my forehead on the ground
i can’t see His face
to tell if He nods or frowns
but He lets them use Her body

for the sacrificial altar.

Brother hasn’t come to the well
in a few millennia
my sisters are thirsty
the water is dead
and the manna is dry.
we are becoming paintings.

this negligence is violence,
my annihilation
ordained by Father.
all His daughters’ little bodies,
emaciated of abnegation,
are living palm fronds
that crunch and squelch
under the feet of sons
as they step.

women are selfless.
women are special.
women are needed.

my ego fractures.
bishop, father, and Father
plan to melt me down
and pour me into the mold of
missionary, wife, or harlot.

it’s almost hot enough now.
the holy boys are stoning us
as we choose.

my bruises scream out
“where is my Mother?”

16 Responses to “erasure i. the murder: a poem”

  1. dollie

    This is so lovely, it really hits home. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  2. AKM

    This is perfect, precious, and piercing.
    This poem summarizes the crowning reason as to why I left the church in 2008.

    Thank you.

  3. allison m.

    Dear Emily,

    I just wanted to let you know that from a purely literary standpoint this poem is beautiful. The imagery that you use is so sharp that it is painful to read. Do you write often? If you don’t, I think that you should 🙂

    I also wanted to let you know that, as much as I can from reading just one poem, I believe in you – in your ability to see complexity and to percieve the world around you in a meaningful way. Sterling Ashley might have church doctorine down to a tee, but s/he clearly lacks empathy and/or emotional depth.

    I hope your writing finds its way into the world more often. I believe good writing is meant to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable 🙂 Good luck.


    Allison M.

  4. Libra girl

    I’m amazed reading this blog (which I don’t do often) at the pointing fingers and complaining from the writers and some

  5. Libra girl

    …some of the commenters. Whine, whine, whine! What about being anxiously engaged? What about making a difference (in a positive way)? What about serving others? Putting so much time into maintaining a pointless blog and writing poems about your wretched life in the church doesn’t do anybody any good including yourself. I’m sorry but I wasn’t at all inspired by this poem nor a previous post about “Queer Jesus”. In the name of being “progressive” you are locking arms with people who mock the Savior and His leaders and people!

  6. Allia

    I agree that from a literarary standpoint this poem is stunning. I also agree that people should stand up for their rights, and that everyone should help and serve others. However I disagree with some of the points you make in your blog. I definitely agree that it can be frustrating to be a women in the church! But I think the answer lies in focusing on what God would have us do and where He would have us be, and I know the answer is in His church. I believe that the prophet and other leaders are inspired by Him, even if they aren’t perfect. So because they’re inspired by Him, they won’t change things based on what people thing but rather than on what God would have them do. And I think many of the issues of gender disparity are cultural, rather than doctrinal, and so getting angry at the First Presidency isn’t going to change anything.


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