By Ear

This entry is part 11 of 23 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2013-14

In childhood, often I confused words I knew only a little about for other words: for instance, overhearing my father on the phone conveying his sympathies to a friend who had lost a family member, I wondered why he kept bringing up that sweet-sticky milk I liked to smear like jam on my bread. Condense, condolence. In a way grief is sticky like that, and when you have opened the can it’s as if you have to keep going until you reach the bottom, until there is nothing left and your teaspoon hits metal and the sound lets you know there isn’t any more. So you rinse it at the sink, you put it away and teach yourself gradually the differences between guillotine and glutton, animate and anemone, windfall and waterfall.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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