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Lord I Thought at Least You’d Be Here by Elizabeth Metzger

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Lord I Thought at Least You’d Be Here
Elizabeth Metzger

When the others knew you I knew of you.

Maybe you need to be reminded
how we met
whether it was romantic?

                                        Make it better

I hear you singing
with my ear

            make it better
            make it better

When I lay next to you in life
only you had the life.

Already you survive me.

Death after all that forethought is so green
in the dark like a wet kiss

but Lord
I would give you up still for a person.


My first encounter with the divine I had a yearning to write about it. It’s not anything grand—just a pocket of grace at a difficult time. Can I even call it divine, I asked myself. Maybe it’s just part of the ebb and flow of life. Maybe.

Have you ever felt both a sense of longing and imbalance when face-to-face with the unknown? Have you ever confronted your mortal fragility and even wished sometimes to be in the after-all-this of things, where nothing hurt?

What is transient but tangible. What weighs down your heart so that you remain anchored to this world. Tell me: what would you give up for your person?

The Yale Review - Summer 2023SOURCE

This poem appeared in The Yale Review, Summer 2023 issue, originally published June 12, 2023. Shared here with profound gratitude.


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