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Notes from an Agnostic

By Susan Hand

PROMPT — If only ...

god: I’m going to strip you of your capital letters, if that’s ok with you.

If only god would reveal himself, in the flash of an ankle, beneath a capacious skirt, like a Victorian woman—it would be enough, like the most wonderful of promises.

Or if he would speak to us from the clouds, with thunder and lightning, even though our hearts hammer in our chests and we cower like frightened rabbits.

The poet said god would not leave us comfortless, but isn’t that what he has done?

Some days the clouds part and then disappear and I can almost hear his voice, and the sky is a blue dome above us like the finest china, and I think I’ve got a handle on it all. It is clear, all of it is clear, what we have and will have for eternity and what we have lost, and god would tell us that this is the way things are and even if he wanted to fix it he can’t and so we should give up our yammering and be content with the splendors he will leave behind when he leaves us, if that’s what he’s going to do—if that’s what he has already done.


Susan Hand grew up in New Jersey, then became a transplant to NYC, Illinois, and finally, Massachusetts, where she has stayed and made it her home. During most of this time, she was writing, poems when young and fiction later, including several unpublished novels. Hand loves to write. She would also love to be published, but loves writing even more and hopes never to give it up.


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