My birth certificate says
I was born at Fort Campbell, Ky
February 24, 1964
Mother: Beverly Ann Beck
Father: Charles Elwin Witherspoon
But part of this is not true.
Charles Elwin Witherspoon had never been to Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
I have. That is part of my history.
The other party of my history had been erased.
As though it doesn’t matter.
As though it’s okay to make up someone’s history.
It’s my word against the piece of paper. When I am gone, the piece of paper will remain.
And it’s a lie.
10 thoughts on “The Lie”
Wow! What powerful writing with so few words. So many questions spring from this piece. The ending really gave me some chills. “When I am gone, the piece of paper will remain. And it’s a lie.” Wow!
Your writing sparks so many questions in my mind … as I imagine you planned it to do. The big thought I have is that this isn’t only your story. It is the story of at least two other people as well. It will also be part of the story of your own descendants.
oooh! This is so intriguing! That last line is amazing. Great writing!! I really loved this piece so much.
Wow! You had me at “My birth certificate says…” and you couldn’t lose me once I read “but part of this is not true.” Very intriguing! I hope there is a Part II and Part III in our future – cuz this history is so interesting!!
Very intriguing piece that leaves readers wondering. You definitely have our attention. And the words on papers may be here after we’re gone so it’s good to get our own stories written down showing the truth the way we know it.
Very intriguing and powerful!
“It’s my word against the piece of paper. When I am gone, the piece of paper will remain.” <- Wow!
This was an awesome post.
I am wondering so many things!
I just finished reading Brown Girl Dreaming. Something about the economy of words and the theme of this poem remind me of Woodson’s writing in her memoir.
Stacey, guess which book I just finished reading. Yep, I loved Jacqueline Woodson’s writing as well and really wanted to try the memoir on for size. Thank you for reading The Lie and for your compliment.