Fall 2019, Volume 27

Poetry by Robert Cording

Evening Prayer with Opening Question

What does it mean to call this life my own,
as if it could be possessed
                        rather than simply lived,
its discrete stages just that,

even if, at moments,
                        they seemed intentional
(as though signs had been posted and were readable)?

A life to lose? Certainly.
                       To gain?—that, too, I suppose,
though my aim has been an I
          that would be worth giving away,

or back to you, Lord, whom I love
         but know almost wholly as a door
closed against my knocking,

                       the beat of my hands a song
I’d like to think I make with your silence,

a song that makes me who it is I am,
          but could more easily be failure’s reoccurrence.




BIO: Robert Cording has published nine collections of poems, the most recent of which is Without My Asking. He taught for 38 years at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and now is a poetry mentor in MFA program at Seattle Pacific University. He has received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in poetry and his poems have appeared in publications such as the Nation, Georgia Review, Southern Review, Poetry, Hudson Review, Kenyon Review, New Ohio Review, New England Review, Orion, and the New Yorker.



Without My Asking By Robert Cording
Published by Cavankerry Press
October 1, 2019