52,000 Words for 1 Year

Lost and Found

Have you ever had a song come on the radio just once and you loved it but couldn’t remember it. You listen to the same channel again and again hoping it comes back on and it doesn’t?

That is what happened to me for this poem on a Tri-Met MAX train two years ago. Since the first time I read the poem, each time I boarded a MAX train, I’d glance up at the upper deck of the first train car to see if the poem was there. I never saw it—until this week. And I even had my camera with me this time.

I Confess by Alison Luterman

I stalked her
in the grocery store: her crown
of snowy braids held in place by a great silver clip,
her erect bearing, radiating tenderness,
the way she placed yogurt and avocadoes in her basket,
beaming peace like the North Star.
I wanted to ask “What aisle did you find
your serenity in, do you know
how to be married for fifty years, or how to live alone,
excuse me for interrupting, but you seem to possess
some knowledge that makes the earth burn and turn on its axis–”
but we don’t request such things from strangers
nowadays. So I said, “I love your hair.”