daddy-ma-and-fam-in-color
             Circa 1958: 11 of my parents’ ultimately 14 children
(I’m age 12, middle row, 2nd to left)

Bio Ballad in Verse for Better or Worse
by Stephany Spencer-LeBaron

I was born some time ago
Away out in the sticks
In Mexico’s Rocky Mountain Range
In 1946

Was raised in a Mormon cult
Where self-righteous hicks
Thought it sinful
With the world to mix

Like egotistical fools
In fanatic backwoods schools
They thought themselves
God’s chosen handful
His Saints and
Heavenly-kingdom tools

But they were
Backward bigots
Extremists and
Mislead hypocrites

“Saints” full of ignorance
False pride and narcissism
Who fed on fear
Self-denial and masochism

One can lead a horse to water
But can’t make it think
Same for blind followers
Being led to the brink

If they don’t lift their blinders
And use their own head
Mind-controlled believers
Like sheeple are led

So before I was seven
Ma had seven girls in a row
When we went walking down the street
Oh what a show!

By the time I was twelve
We were children eleven
My parents believed birth control
Would ban them from heaven

So before I was fourteen
I had siblings twelve
For everything I ever got
I had to dig and delve

So as I turned twenty
About fit to go under
Synchronicity’s Serendipity
Wrought a miraculous wonder

A big bolt of thunder
Suddenly tossed me asunder
Into “the wicked world”
Where a new life unfurled

Now on the outside looking in
At those “Saints” knee-deep in sin
I gaze at them and grin
Thanking Goodness
For helping me win
For the chance to begin again

For freedom of choice
For the gift of my own voice
For listening to my cries
For helping me self-actualize

So glad I fled that stoic hell
And left the cult behind
To go out in “the wicked world”
A new life to find

Every year’s been better
Since I fled that bitter bind
I’ve found in this big world
A more courageous time
Compassionate people
Charitable and refined

Thank you new world
Oh how you shine
Thanks for your excellence
New friends of mine
God bless you all
Dear humankind

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