Monday, August 22, 2011

From Scratch

From Scratch

Trust the road to hold the car,
the signs to gesture honestly
and without malice. Trust
that a mile on your odometer
means a mile behind you,
a one-mile-sized patch of town
your tires touched and left.
Trust that in the town the dogs
are given food, that their names
are said to them with sweetness,
that fathers in this town hold
their sons’ hands when they
are young. Trust that the spiders
stay in their webs high up
in the trees, that the freezer aisle
in the grocery store stays cold
and that the twist ties on the bread
continue to squeeze the plastic
shut around the slices for days
after the sell by date, that there
is no guilt in the woman who
pauses before the cake mix
to find the one that requires
the fewest ingredients, eggs
and oil and water, which she has.


  1. I never considered that road signs might be malicious or misleading!

    That might be me buying the cake mix. Another seemingly simple, amazing poem, Hannah.

  2. Oh, if only we could trust all that. Mostly it's a case of "I believe! Lord forgive my unbelief". A fine poem, for all that!

  3. The tone in the last two (or is it all?) of your poems has an evenness that amounts to a kind of restraint. I like it very much. You’re talking about the big things and using intriguing, resonant details, but you manage to situate all that within the day-to-day. It gives the feeling and tension of important emotions and ideas being harnessed—not suppressed, but controlled.

    Was that pompous? Sorry—a hazard of the trade. But I mean it. Surely you’re not cranking these poems out on a daily basis . . . They feel that way, which is good—it adds to that sense of the bigness within the ordinary, especially in your endings. But if you can produce excellence (and simply interest) at this rate . . . well, wow, as we say these days.

    P.S. I like your themes too, especially in “From Scratch.”

  4. I used to like to buy cake mixes but now I like to make my cakes from scratch :-).

  5. trained to trust by nature, you made my day too...just love this poem to no end! xo

    ps- i do always look for cakes that require no ingredients besides what is in the box and I marvel : )

  6. I could pretty much smell the cake the tone in this one. For some reason, that illustration makes me a bit nervous. I want her to let the tethers go!


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