A Prayer for Provenance


By Sarah T. Jewell

May I ask where we all stem from,
how a fish becomes a finch,
why the whale has been forgotten?
 
I kneel in remembrance
of the dodo, the sea mink,
and the amaranth of Galapagos.
 
My mask retreats in three parts,
like the unforming of a face,
and my eyes open underneath.
 
My thumbs press ridges
into Urim and Thummin,
fossil evidence of what was foretold.
 
May I have the patience to discover you
as I would dust off a dinosaur bone:
a slow erosion towards truth.


Sarah T. Jewell is a medical librarian who works for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She enjoys working science into her poetry and has recently studied under Elaine Sexton, David Groff, and Tina Chang.