This sonnet was written for a character in Lois McMaster Bujold’s brilliant fantasy novel, Paladin of Souls. It’s a gorgeous, gorgeous book, which I recommend to everyone and anyone.
The Gods’ great curses come to us as gifts
Of bitter hope, in answer to our prayer
Safer by far the silence of despair
Than damnèd sainthood, ruin that uplifts.
Let others try to mend what has been done
Your riddles are too cruel for my belief
They’ve left me empty, riddled with my grief
My cup is shattered. Lost. Leave me alone.
You, Bastard God, I am not yours to use.
The hostages your Mother had are gone:
I am bereft of husband, mother, son
Nothing to force my choice – yet I must choose.
And strangely, now, it seems I’ve found my place:
I’ll serve you well – and curse you to your face.