Motherland

Mia Dimina

I met God in a strip mall bowling alley,where the clouds had lined up like a congregationin the sky over the bump & tumble ofabandoned road & the children told meJesus was born on the back of a hot bus. Imet him through my Polish grandmaas she pressed dolls the size of my thumbinto my hand & my mother wouldn't see.When Jesus forgot to pick me up from balletpractice & I waited & cried on a rough green couchI blamed the Christmas Eve candles thatwound the light into cylinders like Grandma'shair curlers. Instead of apologies she taughtme how to remember the color red & insteadof forgiveness I learned to count the beads ona rosary. When she took me for the firsttime to that bowling alley with the kids & the cloudsshe told me this was my mother's land,to soak the sky like a cloth & dye it virgin blue.

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Mia Dimina is a high-school writer located in Arlington, Virginia. She is currently the 2024 Arlington County Youth Poet Laureate, and her poetry has been featured in various local contests, anthologies, and gained recognition nationally by Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She works as an editor for both her school’s literary magazine and a teen-targeted magazine, The Empty Inkwell Review. Mia has attended and refined her writing skills at programs such as the UVA Young Writers’ Workshop and the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio.

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