Anna McLoud Gibbs

Ode to my Fifth Rejection this Month

The emails start with “thank you,” and the gratitude
comes from knowing I don’t need to open them to see
what’s inside, until when inevitably I do
I look only for the word “unfortunately”:

“Unfortunately we had so many great candidates.”
It is strange when excess is a reason to apologize. I take this as an offering,
and I accept it — being among the drops that helped the cup overflow,
I am okay knowing that I sometimes fall from the cup’s brim.

“Unfortunately due to the high volume of applications,”
my industry isn’t dying. I can take this as a blessing.
I am glad for these peers who are good at what they do
because this is the company inheriting the earth alongside me.

we begrudge too many bright minds.
We are frustrated when we are not alone in succeeding.
We don’t learn to celebrate that we will be taller next month.

“We have been fortunate to receive resumes from many excellent candidates.”
This morning I make too much coffee and I have more than enough time.
I wrap the leftover pastries at work and think how this sticky bun looks as sugary
as the others I served today but that there were just so many.

Rejection: I work to get better, but I work harder to know I am good enough already.
That alone is cause for a small celebration, an ode to you, thank you.