Photography © Linda Matthews-Denham


Being Weird

I was born of pain
from the moment my mother’s screams
reverberated across whiteness
and she pushed me into this world.

No—I lied.
The legends say that my progenitor
reaped what she sought soundlessly…
that she lay down in a lonely wheat field
and made me exist
as silent tears seared across her eyes.

They used to say I was like her
with my set jaw, dead-fish stare
and weird habits.

As I spread my wings
they came at me with pitchforks
so I fled from town after town
before realizing
they could see my silhouette in the sky.

And like my mother
who, in later years,
thought the pain of procreation
afforded her cruelty
so in pain have I become pretentious.
Now they say I hold my weird chin too high.

I’m done trying to convince them
that I’m a noble savage.
My demons are enlightened.
I’ve built myself a temple of self-love
stronger than the songs of angry cannons.
I don’t need Mom to tell me
I’m beautiful.


Tureygua Inaru is a writer from Central Florida. Her poetry has been featured in Rigorous Magazine, Leonardo Magazine and No Peeking Theatre’s Indigenous.

Linda Matthews-Denham lives in the countryside along the Thames River in Berkshire, England. Her passion is photography, photo restoration and art history of Paris. She also works very closely with many British authors restoring images for publication.