Contronym by Jacqueline Jules


As a noun, “rock” is a stationary stone.
As a verb, it unsettles or shakes.

“Trip” can be a journey or a stumble.

“Finished” could mean
completed or destroyed.

If a word can contradict itself,
it’s not so odd to pray.

To thank a Source of blessing
and not blame a Source of grief.

After all, the word “cleave,”
could be clinging or cutting.

“Sanction” is approval or boycott.

And prayer changes me,
not the world.


Jacqueline Jules is the author of Manna in the Morning (Kelsay Books, 2021) and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her poetry has appeared in over 100 publications including ONE ART, The Sunlight Press, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Hospital Drive, and Imitation Fruit. Visit her online

Leave a Reply