Jewish Journal


September 3, 2013

Letter to the Lord


Lord quite innocent of what it is to live
bound in paper, bound in steel,
bound in the incredible ignorance supplied
by irony and suffering — how are You?
I regret that I am unable to see You, wrapped as I am in time,
soiled and sickened by personal situations,
unable to find You, the real You, in the creases
of Your misprints.  A few spots of light
wade toward me from the roots of life,
a few spots of fear, fingers of decomposition.
Otherwise, I’m fine, unable to see you
but ready to shut my eyes
and feel my way through the cemetery of Your longing —
or is it mine? — for someone else
to take responsibility for life.
You live too much and I live too,
one of innumerable lines You true,
purged and poisoned by Your silence,
rubbed and mounted by the dark
I tell myself is You.

Joy Ladin is Gottesman Professor of English at Yeshiva University and the author of six books of poetry. Her memoir, “Through the Door of Life:  A Jewish Journey Between Genders,” was a finalist for a 2012 National Jewish Book Award and a Forward Fives winner.

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