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