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Look Up at the Right Moment and There Is the Gift
by Sarah Sadie
That was when I learned that words were no good; that words
don't fit even what they are trying to say at.
(As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner)
And that was when you began to nod
in the slow sure way of a woman
who knows her truth when she hears it
and doesn't need to justify or excuse.
Younger, I was compelled to ask‐
with the schooled delusion of youth
that we can learn anything by being told‐
What was it about that passage, Gram?
As though you would have explained.
Or should have. Or even could have, to me, then.
I have learned something in the years since
of the notion of a rosebush, say, by a sidedoor,
or how a cookie jar will be empty, or full,
and both may be true at once. How recipes
can be interpreted, but never duplicated because,
like poems, they depend on what can't be written or said.
Here is what I can find words for: my corners don't meet or match.
My pie crusts are tasty, but clumsy. And I'm comfortable
in my ways, for I hold in my memory proof
that a woman can recognize her truth and affirm it
and so when my turn comes I do not think I will flinch.