"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: January 2021

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Poem: En Pointe by Karen Tolkkinen

Published by permission from the poet, Karen Tolkkinen, a former member of the Laestadian Lutheran Church, who lives and writes in Minnesota. 


Photo: Grace in Winter 2, by Jeff, Creative Commons 2.0

En Pointe

Karen Tolkkinen

Who am I?

Who am I?

Who am I?

What do I want?

What do I want?

What do I want?

Once upon a time, I wanted to dance

en pointe, en chaine, entendu.

But they said dancing was sin.

And I hated myself for wanting it.

Once upon a time, I wanted to act in

plays and movies.

But they said no, acting is sin.

Plays are sin. Movies are sin.

And I found myself most wretched for wanting it.

I might have enjoyed watching a Twins game

But that was sin.

I might have enjoyed your company

But I wasn't allowed friends outside church.

I might have enjoyed debate, or speech, or National Honor Society

But they would draw me away from church friends.

So when I moped around the house


My mom would grow impatient.

Read a book, she'd say.

So I would.

Books about ballet. 

And actors.

And normal kids befriending other normal kids.

And no-one to tell them they were wrong.