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
Theodore Richards is an educator, writer, and philosopher. He is the founder of The Chicago Wisdom Project now and editor of the online magazine and podcast ReImagining. His work is dedicated to re-imagining education and creating new narratives about our place in the world. He has received degrees from various institutions, including the University of Chicago and The California Institute of Integral Studies, but has learned just as much studying the martial art of Bagua; teaching in various settings and students; and as a traveler from the Far East to the Middle East, from southern Africa to the South Pacific. He is the author of eight books and numerous literary awards, including two Nautilus Book Awards and three Independent Publisher Awards. His latest book, Reimagining the Classroom, launched in December of 2022. He lives on the south side of Chicago with his wife and three daughters. For more information, go to


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Empowering educators to take a deeper look at the stories told in our schools and to re-imagine them in transformative and
nurturing learning spaces.

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