Friday, July 27, 2007

signature moves

Every so often, when I sign my name,
the person behind the counter says,
“That’s quite a signature,”
as though I’ve done nothing but scribble.
“No one else can imitate it,”
is always my answer,
“that’s what makes it my signature.”

My morning movements are as much
a signature as my recognizable scratch,
my hands moving from muscle
memory to trim the strawberries
and stand them up to slice, then
splaying them out like pages, and
surrounding them with the blueberries

I picked myself the other day;
they taste like the neighborhood.
The fruit sits on a plate we’ve had
as long as we’ve been married,
when I first began to work on a
new signature because my name
changed along with yours,
as we wrote something new together.

And then there’s your coffee:
mostly-milk-one-Splenda-put-it-in-
the-microwave-for-one-minute-thirty-five-
seconds-before-topping-it-off.
My hands move with the same confidence
I show when I sign my name.
This is who I am.

This is who we are.
I can’t think of one without the other.
The daily mixture of fresh and
familiar, what is known scratched
on the surface of this new day,
held together by a hyphen,
my favorite piece of punctuation.

Peace,
Milton

12 comments:

David said...

Great poem. My wife has her way and I have mine; but when we got married we discovered that "our" way is what works best for "us."

I still practice the habits that are unique to my character, as does she. These are the things that attract each of us to the other, or drive the other nuts; but we wouldn't have it any other way.

The Goddess said...

Wonderful.

[But, I must say that perhaps flay isn't the word you were seeking (splay, perhaps?).]

However, I will certainly have an image of your carefully arranged dish, and the aroma of coffee, in my mind when I go to pick over the blueberries waiting in the fridge this evening and turn them into jam.

Towanda said...

fabulous.

Cynthia said...

This is simply beautiful, and it made my heart ache.

Ruby said...

just lovely. your wife is a lucky woman.

don't eat alone said...

thanks, goddess

peace,
milton

zorra said...

Yeah. Us too.
A fine poem.

Diane said...

and it was very good.

Crafty Green Poet said...

This is very good, especially the last six lines of the third stanza.

Hazel Rhodes Thomas said...

Just wanted to apologize for my insensitivity when introducing you to a friend - many years ago at UBC. I recall the event when you corrected my intro, by my leaving out the Brasher, and I gave some remark that I know was stupid. Thankfully life has helped me see the niavete in my closed-minded thinking. Glad to hear/see you and Ginger are doing well - and doing well at your vocations. Would love to stay in touch better.
Hazel
poimenes@yahoo.com

tumblewords said...

Warm, fuzzy and wise!

Molly said...

I've been thinking about my signature too... my name is changing in twelve days, which is intense and amazing. And so important.