Why I Still Wear the Hoodie

I once worked at a place that

I only see in my nightmares now.

I'm taken back when it gets too warm outside and

I am reminded of all the times I would set myself on fire to

Keep warm the people who would never give me a blanket.

I don't know how church camp became a living hell but it did.

Maybe this is shell-shock?

Instead of loud noises reminding me of bombs,

I can't listen to certain worship songs.

And any time I wake up late on a weekday or forget to do devotions I go into a panic.

I can't stand the taste of s'mores anymore.

Campfires make me anxious.

So does the smell of pine needles and bug spray.

Summer doesn't feel the same anymore.

Maybe church camp was my battle

leaving wounds that don't fully heal.

So yes, I will still wear the hoodie they gave me as a "reward"

for surviving the summer.

To them, it's a hoodie.

To me, it's a spoil of war.

Yes, I am keeping the damn hoodie.

Yes, I will wear it every day.

Because they owe me this.

I DESERVE to be warm.