Poem - “A Chaplet for Lana”

Martha Serpas

I doubt you are quiet even now 

And why should you be 

Now that your voice is unclasped 

From the coarse line of our limitations 

Your words freed from their pins 

Like white-sleeved spectres 

Caught in a breeze or untangled 

From the strophes of your skirt 

As you walked unhurried 

Toward a world bent west 

Arriving always 

To the chime of fresh things 

And what more you can say now 

That every port is yours 

Yours our unreachable provinces 

This poem, from the poetry volume The Diener by Martha Serpas, honors the memory of Lana Schwebel, who was assistant professor of religion and literature at Yale Divinity School and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music from 2002-06. She died in 2007 after a car accident in Siberia. On the acknowledgement page of The Diener, the poet says “A Chaplet for Lana” is for Lana’s parents, Lilly and Philip Schwebel.