My daughter worships a god

Juditha Dowd

I cannot seem to findthough I prayed for one to find her                  and one finally didAn oddness runs in our familyI saw it before she turned twoknew hers would be a troubled life                  a mother fear                  so visceraland trueYet here four decades later                  this gift of her enduranceat home in a congregationswaying with their songand when she steps forwardkneels along with others seeking guidance                  for some private griefI see her whole and holy as I seldom canfor long                  but always long tothe selfsame way I long for gratitudeto fill me as                  it fills me

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Juditha Dowd is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet with work appearing in The Florida ReviewCider Press ReviewSpillwayEkphrasis and elsewhere. Her full-length collection, Mango in Winter (Grayson Books, 2013), joins three previously-published chapbooks. She is a poetry editor for US1 Worksheets and a member of “Cool Women,” an ensemble performing poetry in the metro area and on the west coast.


Spokane, Washington

Whitworth University

Thom Caraway

Guest Poetry Editor
John Allen Taylor

Assistant Poetry Editor
Emily Hanson

The editors of Rock & Sling believe that the act of writing and of reading literature is a way of witnessing to the truth of experience, drilling down to the core of language’s vitality, and accepting an understanding of artistic language as a kind of testimony. The word “Witness” means to testify: to tell the truth. The demands of the word are bracing in its charge to the writer to understand that his and her work matters not just as expressions of experiences and responses but as an active language engaged morally as well as aesthetically. To tell the truth is an act of responsibility as well as an expression of hope. To testify is an act of responsibility as well as an expression of faith.

Rock & Sling is a literary journal of witness, published twice a year at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. Rock & Sling was founded in 2004 by Susan Cowger, and came to Whitworth in 2010. We are a member of the CLMP and distributed nationwide by Ubiquity Distribution.

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