Monday, April 8, 2013


"I remembered how, holding
her small shoulders in my hands sometimes,
I felt a violent wonder at her presence
like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river" -- Robert Hass

Almost everything worth its salt

I keep in this box: 

The letter I never sent to my father; 

the first piece of jewelry a boy gave me;

my first view of Orion, when a camp counselor

traced its outline and I knew random 

stars as something, at last;

the top of my grandmother's wedding cake; 

a grocery list from my first apartment; 

days spent twiddling my thumbs

waiting for my heart to open after it climbed

inside a cave, vowing 

never to come out--and the taste of God

I found, finally, through patient sitting; 

a current I caught off the coast of Cancun--

the blue blue ocean meeting blue blue sky; 

a single kiss; an early verse; 

the spoon from which I first

tasted peach ice; and simple

salt; and one last thought--

the one I ought to not

think, I keep at bay, in this box, 

shelved--alongside other thoughts, 

like books--saved for later days

when rain or illness keeps me inside

and there's no one sitting beside me

wondering what's inside me--and the salt

cellar's empty and my heart content. 

Then, I'll open the box, and sift

and savor its contents. 

1 comment:

  1. Lovely. This poem is the box.

    I'm curious if you're going through journals to prompt a new poem each day. Each one is so rich with image and feeling.