Friday, December 29, 2006

The ED Sonnets: Chapel I

Here's another sonnet. I wrote it in half an hour, just because I was getting itchy from not writing any. As a result, it's extremely simple, but that fits the mood I want.

The hyphenated word at the end of the third line is a bit of a cheat, but Marilyn Hacker does it, and if something's good enough for her, it's good enough for me.

This is Chapel I because I often take several chapel breaks during a shift. It's a bit out of order, since I'd normally wait until I'd seen more patients. But this is all a draft anyway, and I'm sure I'll be making all kinds of changes to the sequence if I ever get a complete cycle of poems.


It’s almost always empty when I come;
I’m almost always empty, which is why
I come. I sit. I breathe. I notice some-
one else, off in a corner, and I try
to let myself be filled. I cannot bring
God’s love to others if I do not feel
that love myself. I don’t feel anything
right now except exhaustion. Should I kneel?
No: I’m too tired. Sit and pray. Dear God,
make me your hands, your feet, a hollow reed
through which you speak. Make me your lightning rod,
your vessel. Help me give them what they need.

Has that done anything? I’ll only know
by visiting more patients. Time to go.


  1. Susan, that's lovely. The prayer and sentiments really moved me. Bless you!


  2. A reed flute, always a reed flute. Always hollow and full of God's breath. May we all be so.


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