Psalm for Day 83
Donna Spruijt-Metz

after Psalm 118, verses 1–7

I am stilled.
YOUR answers
have silence
between their teeth.

I try to side-eye
YOUR gifts,
not to look at them
head on—superstitious—

for instance,
these friends
come from so far—
the familiar feel

of them—their known-ness—
they gentle me
for a moment—away
from the news cycle,

a guilty pleasure—
the warmth
of my morning shower—
its steam over the mirrors

escalates—then slowly clears.
It gives me hope—
this rhythm—the escalation
followed by de-escalation

every morning—
but then I am
once caught again
in the day’s headlines—

and calling out
to YOU in YOUR
divine expanse—

I don’t understand
how to find YOU—
at least not reliably—but
I do know how to try.

Come—YOU and I
have work to do—
it feels urgent—
it feels like
an emergency—

but what do I know
of time’s cycles?
Donna Spruijt-Metz’s debut poetry collection is General Release from the Beginning of the World (2023, Free Verse Editions, Palette Press). She is an emeritus psychology professor, MacDowell fellow, rabbinical school drop-out, and former classical flutist. She was featured as one of “5 over 50 debut authors” in Poets & Writers Magazine (11/23). Her chapbooks include Slippery Surfaces, And Haunt the World (with Flower Conroy), and Dear Ghost (winner, 2023 Harbor Review Editor’s prize).Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets, Tahoma Literary Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.

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