To Rachel

It took a lot of observation, a lot of waiting, a lot of writing and rewriting, but I think I’ve finally finished a poem that captures my sweet but mysterious Rachel. It’s called “Puzzling” in honor of her love for puzzles and the way she likes to discuss the patterns in our family and the attributes that make her an important piece of the whole.


I’ve never been able to master the

Intrigue of silence.

The way it leaves space

Compels others to speak their piece

Show their hand, waste their breath.

The way it hesitates.


But you know how to bide

How to look as if you’re giving up

Then go find another gate.


And how to hide—

How to transform ordinary objects

By holding them behind your back

Until you find an audience who can appreciate.


You do not resist the cut that carves a curve from you

So that others can snap into place.

You know how to accommodate.


I take for granted, forget or neglect

The very things that captivate you.


I don’t know how to pray for you

Because I don’t know what forces compel you,

How or why or what motivates.


I get the idea that every object you bring me in a hidden hand

Is a clue.


So I just pray, again and again,

I won’t fail to appreciate

The detail that captivates



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