There is a Story Written
on My Daughter’s Body

By Theodore Richards

There is a story
Written on my daughter’s body
In languages I don’t speak
Ancient hieroglyphics
Cave paintings on womb walls
Chiseled lines
Like a prisoner counting the days ‘til release
Words cut deep
Like ancient ravines, eroded by time
Like the banks of the Nile
Worn away by tears
Recent dramas & ancient traumas
Memories & dreams etched in blood:
birth blood
menstrual blood
Blood shed by the ancestors

There is a story
Written on my daughter’s body
That I can never understand
Written in a script I can’t decipher –
Even though it is my story, too.
Recent dramas & ancient traumas
Words cut deep
Like an unfathomable chasm
Window to the abyss
The depths of the earth & her pain
Memories cut deep
Like trauma-infused-DNA.
Like scars
This story will never be deciphered or healed
But – like scars – it will give healing
Even when the blood has dried.

About The Author

Theodore Richards is a poet, novelist, and religious philosopher. He has received degrees from various institutions, including the University of Chicago and The California Institute of Integral Studies. He is the author of numerous books, including Creatively Maladjusted: The Wisdom Education Movement Manifesto. His literary awards include the Independent Publisher Awards Gold Medal in religion and religious fiction and the Nautilus Book Awards Gold Medal. He has worked with youth on the south side of Chicago, the Bronx and Harlem, and in Oakland. He is the director and founder of the Chicago Wisdom Project and lives in Chicago with his wife and daughters. You can find more information on his website,


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