My health hasn’t suffered for the many puncture wounds dealt to my religious dogma, Rabbi. I am bombarded, yet I stand, and that’s precisely the point, can’t you understand? Assailed by doubts, awash in religious transgressions, adrift from my old synagogue community; yet I remain standing, even thriving!
In fact, I’m happier than ever. Freedom has never tasted sweeter. All through my childhood, I was taught, expected, required(!) to disregard my critical faculties in lieu of a “truth” entirely disconnected from the world around me. However, I eventually found refuge at the public library. Sneaking away from the yeshiva every day, I would uncover the world forbidden to me through novels, historic works, and reference books. I studied physics and biology; I taught myself four languages; I realized that the earth is billions, not thousands, of years old…
No, Rabbi, I have no regrets.
d’Verse prosery is flash fiction with a beginning, a middle and an end, in any genre of the author’s choice, no longer than 144 words. This very short piece of prose must include an assigned line from a poem, within the 144 word limit. Writers may change the punctuation of the assigned line, but they may not insert words within the quotation.
I am bombarded yet I stand.-from Adrienne Rich‘s poem ‘Planetarium’
P.S. This is a work of fiction
The prosery piece above was written in the voice of a sheltered young man raised in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish enclave who left the fold.