“Leave Again” A Poem Milo Palomo
Author Bio: I grew up in a fundamentally religious family, my father was raised Catholic and my mother, I believe, was raised Protestant. Not quite sure if you could call me a “military brat,” though I was born on Army installation called Fort Polk in Louisiana. We only moved around a couple of times while I was really young, but I’m the only person in my immediate family and often seemingly my extended family, that didn’t join some branch of military. After being outted as a sophomore in high school (2009) as the lesbian, my father only conversed with me about scripture. At the time it was heartbreaking to talk about nothing else with my dad but “my sins” and “the punishments for my sins.” Certainly feeling the deviant stigmatization while growing up. Soccer (fútbol) was my outlet and if there was hope to connect with my dad about something other than scripture, it would be a match on the pitch. I played varsity ball for my 4 years in high school while playing for club, and getting to experiencing Iowa ODP (Olympic Development Program) camp for 3 years. I knew my father was proud of my work ethic on the field and that’s what I held onto, even while my grades suffered throughout high school. After I finished playing my 1st and only semester of collegiate ball for Butler Community College women’s soccer team, I changed my name, and had top surgery. Not really thinking about when I’d find myself on the pitch again. Currently, I live in Portland, Oregon and I’m receiving honors for the work I’m getting done in the classroom at Portland Community College and have my eyes set on tryouts for the PCC men’s soccer team. I’m beyond grateful for the opportunities I’ve experienced and the more meaningful conversations I’m having with my dad; while tapping into a love for poetry and writing that I wasn’t so sure was inside me all along.