Inaugural Resolution 2017

I will take joy from wherever it comes.
I will wring it out of my grief.
I will seize it from my enemies.
Joy has no identity, no politics, no beliefs.
It is not deterred by my righteous indignation.
I will find hope is in its presence, not some bird in my future.

God gives us anger to confront true injustice.
God gives us joy to keep us from cutting

ourselves on our own swords, a point
of which balances the scales held by a woman
in turn enfolded by her own lover, Joy.

When I seize joy from my enemies,
my enemies follow. It is a thread of diamonds.
When pulled, it unravels everything except the shine.

Martha Serpas is the author of three collections of poetry: Côte Blanche (New Issues), The Dirty Side of the Storm (W.W. Norton), and 2015’s, The Diener (LSU). Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, Southwest Review, and elsewhere. Active in efforts to restore Louisiana’s wetlands, she co-produced Veins in the Gulf, a documentary about coastal erosion. She teaches at the University of Houston and serves as a hospital trauma chaplain.