The Right God — By Pat Daneman

   “…and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.”

                                    –William Stafford

O, god of old maps, god of tears. We have met so many of you, 

followed some.

God of morning weather reports and grandmothers’ stories. 

We have dreamed you with fangs and with careful hands.  

O god of changed locks and not enough whiskey. 

God of grudging apologies.

We have gone walking at night, looked up and seen our stars.

God who trusted us enough to furnish us these bodies

made of questions. Do the wrong gods say everything is looking good,

then step outside to make a call?

Ask if anyone is sleeping upstairs?

When we are trapped behind fences, lost in the woods, do the right gods

bring blankets and food, bend down to ask us our names?

~ Pat Daneman

Pat Daneman’s recent poetry appears in Atlanta Review, Freshwater, Bryant Literary Review, and Typehouse. Her collection, After All (FutureCycle Press 2018), was first runner-up, 2019 Thorpe-Menn Award and finalist, Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award. She is author of a chapbook, Where the World Begins. For more, visit

Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of 24 books, including How Time Moves: New & Selected Poems; Miriam’s Well, a novel; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community, and Coming Home to the Body. Founder of Transformative Language Arts, she leads writing workshops widely, coaches people on writing and right livelihood, and consults on creativity.,,


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