Hymn for the EA Four flights up to the thick third-floor heat, hazy images, and the thought-coating, strange- sweet smell of Old. It is a place for me to lay down my burden and worship. I go up there at dusk sometimes and just sit there, exhaling my prayer, thinking maybe if I wait in this crumbling temple long enough, I’ll soak up some of the secrets they left in their desk drawers when they locked their office doors and laughed on back to their houses made of paper and ink. Nothing says gospel (at least not to me) like a curling photo of a years-ago smile gone purple around the edges, a dozen pieces of McKinney respect, or a pretty pushpin right through Kurt Vonnegut’s heart. Shrine to what’s good. Yes, this is a shrine and I owe it my love. I owe it my life, so I will dwell in this house of the Learned forever. Amen. --2018 Savannah Payne (WVWC ’19) has just completed her final semester of work at Virginia Tech, where she earned an M.A. in English and was awarded the Richard Hoffman GTA Teaching Award. This year, she will begin working toward a PhD in English at Texas A&M University, where she plans to expand her master’s thesis about the intersections of gender and class in domestic spaces in 20th century American drama. She credits her academic achievements to the incredible English, gender studies, and history faculties at West Virginia Wesleyan, which gave her an excellent foundation for graduate study and professionalization. When she isn’t working on projects or teaching, Savannah loves to watch baseball and visit art museums (though not at the same time). "Hymn for the EA" won second place in the poetry category of The Vandalia's 2021 Art & Literature Contest.