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You Are Here to Receive This Prophecy

November 28, 2011

by Hannah Stephenson

You are here to receive this prophecy,
I am so certain of this I would wager life on it.

Get open, fast. Get to the highest point
available, that hill, for example. Even better,

the tree on top of the hill. Clamber up,
go on. Do what the branches do, reach up,

tilt your face to the clouds. Now you wait.
Prepare to hear. You never know what the voice

will sound like, perhaps not a voice. Maybe
like a current of electricity sizzling, sparking,

or the snap of knuckles cracking. A slide whistle
or kazoo—don’t laugh, it could happen.

How would that look, God talking to you,
you laughing it up in a tree on a hilltop.

Be a lightning rod, an antenna. Reception
can be active, you know. Think of a dancer

being lifted, all her muscles tightening
around her bones. She is lighter for how she

lifts herself, gets smaller, more powerful.
Call the message to you, show you can

be trusted to hear and hold it. Don’t even think
of coming down from there, you just wait.

You stay up in that tree, listening. The words
will come to you, they will, they will.

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Hannah Stephenson is a poet, editor, instructor, and singer-songwriter based in Columbus, Ohio. Her writing has been featured (or is forthcoming) in various online and print publications, including the Huffington Post, The Nervous Breakdown, MAYDAY, Stymie, and Escape into Life. For more of her work, visit her daily poetry site, The Storialist, at thestorialist.com.

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  1. Louisa
    November 30, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Wonderful energy in this poem : )

  2. Lois
    December 3, 2011 at 12:29 am

    The poet lifts the reader as dancer in her sure hands and we become the becoming. Beautiful!

  3. January 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

    This is glorious. I hope to use this poem in my synagogue’s Saturday morning services this coming Shabbat, as the prelude to our Torah reading!

  4. January 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Rachel, your comment made my day. Thank you so much for that (and thanks to the other kind commenters, as well).

  1. August 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm
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