Elegy to the Serenity Prayer – a poem by Ashlyn Roice

Elegy to the Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the 
things I cannot change, courage to 
change the things I can, and 
wisdom to know the difference.

But I am no Solomon. And right now, I 
        have none of the answers. Lightning strikes 
                scar every cell, a tornado wrecking
                havoc in my stomach. My body a
        bomb just waiting to go off. 

I am a muse. I am God in these skies.
        Nothing will control me, 
        much less this body of mine.
                I grasp immortality in
                my right hand, turn
                back the clock, 
                        twist the jagged edge
                        that is the end.
        Who ever said the worst could happen?

Sometimes I wonder what it 
        will finally be like to fly. To taste July
                on my lips,
        my rage condensing into
            hurricanes in the sky.
                To hell with it.
        Finally, I will not be burned.

Finally, I’ve seen the light.
        There’s a reason why we can’t fly.
                There is too much holding us down.
        The weight of the world is too much
        for our shoulders to carry.
        But gravity will soon become a filibuster inside
                this dawdling heart of mine.

But even if I try to rewrite my ending,
        nothing will change.
        I’ll close my eyes inevitably
                And give in to the unknown.
        I will chase this thing called denial
                and release.

And in an instant, I will lose it all.
        Lose the onyx bubbling into
                the crevices where
                my lips once were.
        Lose my bones,
                        solidifying into calcite
                in between my ribs.
        I will lose it all with 
                eyes open against the light.

Perhaps death is beauty
        in certainty. But again, 
I am no Solomon. 
                        And my moral quandaries will
                        never stray from home.

Ashlyn Roice is a junior at Mountain House High School in California. Her poetry has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and has been published in Defiant Magazine.

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