This poem was written at my desk in grad school when I was in lab late at night, feeling miserable about my life, and doomed academically and personally. I am still rather proud of myself for managing to fit this many Biblical references into one poem, especially while on the edge of tears.
“Prayer of the Unelect”
13 May 2014 in Cambridge, Massachusetts
I am the collateral branch.
A goat of departure,
destined not to see
any good I might by chance bring.
I do not believe in Paradise,
but I must try to hope for it,
though it is not mine to inherit.
I am sister to the Saved:
I cannot cross the river with them,
it is but my work to help prepare the boats.
Lord of my years, and of the world,
I do not ask for that good part
which I have not inherited.
Giver of strength, chooser of fates,
let me be worthy of my inheritance:
the cursed ground and sweaty face.
Ruler of Heaven, and all beneath it,
give me a part in my cousins’ assumption,
and let me feel joy in their victory.
Then let me sleep.