flour sifter

Resilience Dispatch – March 22 – Day 4

To get through tough times, I often read poems. Not the hard-to-understand ones, but the ones that talk about ordinary things in a fresh way. See what you think of this one:

Sifter

by Naomi Shihab Nye
When our English teacher gave
our first writing assignment of the year,
become a kitchen implement
in 2 descriptive paragraphs, I did not think
butcher knife or frying pan,
I thought immediately
of soft flour showering through the little holes
of the sifter and the sifter’s pleasing circular
swishing sound, and wrote it down.
Rhoda became a teaspoon,
Roberto a funnel,
Jim a muffin tin
and Forrest a soup pot.
We read our paragraphs out loud.
Abby was a blender.  Everyone laughed
and acted giddy but the more we thought about it,
we were all everything in the whole kitchen,
drawers and drainers,
singing teapot and and grapefruit spoon
with serrated edges, we were all the
empty cup, the tray.
This, said our teacher, is the beauty of metaphor.
It opens doors.
What I could not know then was how being a sifter
would help me all year long.
When bad days came
I would close my eyes and feel them passing
through the tiny holes.
When good days came
I would try to contain them gently
the way flour remains
in the sifter until you turn the handle.
Time, time. I was a sweet sifter in time

and no one ever knew.

————————

Ways to respond:

  1. Share your thoughts about the poem (or comment on my facebook page.)
  2. Share what kitchen utensil you would be.
  3. Sit in your favorite chair and write a poem about a kitchen implement.

(You can see yesterday’s post here.)

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