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God’s Secretary

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Her e-mail inbox always overflows.   
Her outbox doesn’t get much use at all.   
She puts on hold the umpteen-billionth call   
As music oozes forth to placate those   
Who wait, then disconnect. Outside, wind blows,   
Scything pale leaves. She sees a sparrow fall   
Fluttering to a claw-catch on a wall.   
Will He be in today? God only knows.   

She hasn’t seen His face—He’s so aloof.   
She’s long resigned He’ll never know or love her   
But still can wish there were some call, some proof   
That He requires a greater service of her.   
Fingers of rain now drum upon the roof,   
Coming from somewhere, somewhere far above her.   

Source: Poetry (December 2008)

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This poem originally appeared in the December 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

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God’s Secretary

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  • Poet, scholar, editor, and critic R.S. Gwynn was born in Eden, North Carolina. He received a BA from Davidson College, where he twice won the Vereen Bell Award for Creative Writing, and he earned both an MA and an MFA from the University of Arkansas, where he won the John Gould Fletcher Award for Poetry. Gwynn has also won the Michael Braude Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
    Gwynn is the author of several collections of poetry, including No Word of Farewell: Selected Poems 19702000; The Narcissiad (1982), a book-length satirical poem; The Drive-In (1986), winner of the Breakthrough Award from the University of Missouri Press; and Dogwatch (Measure Press, 2014). A New Formalist, Gwynn works within and against the demands of complex verse forms such as the villanelle, pantoum, and rondeau, in a voice at once wry and emotionally charged. Introducing No Word of Farewell, Dana Gioia noted...

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