Never really could tell which way people meant.
I understand the concept, I truly do, but which
foot to kick the ball with, which way to turn at
the second light, which column in the paper – I’m
not ever going to get it. Do you mean from your
side looking at me, or from my side looking at you?
I could tell you if you really meant vocation or
avocation and when to use whom instead of who;
could determine by smell if there was enough salt
in the sauce, could choose the exact shade of green
to match the wallpaper, but there was only half
a chance I would pull the lever you wanted me to.
My sister was fine with it. She would give me driving
directions saying “my way” or “your way” to guide
me. Now you’re trying to get me to a place I’ve
never been, and I’m looking at the road, but discreetly
rubbing my middle fingers, feeling for the callous I got
on my writing hand, back before we had computers.
This poem was originally published in Trees in Our Dooryards, Redbird Chapbooks. http://www.redbirdchapbooks.com/content/trees-our-dooryards
About the Poet:
Sonja Johanson has recent work appearing in the Best American Poetry blog, BOAAT, Epiphany, and The Writer’s Almanac. She is a contributing editor at the Found Poetry Review, and the author of Impossible Dovetail (IDES, Silver Birch Press), all those ragged scars (Choose the Sword Press), and Trees in Our Dooryards (Redbird Chapbooks). Sonja divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine. You can follow her work at www.sonjajohanson.net .
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