Elizabeth Dingmann Schneider

One Sunrise

After Jaan Kaplinski

The sun rises
over sailboats
in an urban lake
and in the orange
streaks

words
in a language
I haven’t
learned yet
and buried
Spanish vocabulary
forgotten greetings
in Luganda
and the only
American
Sign Language
I still remember:
“lover”

Holy Days
of Obligation
and purgatory
rosaries novenas like
a magic spell
recite these
words
nine days
in a row
and Saint Jude
will intercede
on your behalf

each day the swell
of smoked eggplant
and garlic when
walking past
the Moroccan
restaurant
on Gloucester Road

a slow
summer dinner
with friends
around a long
table in a community
garden beside
a green
Victorian
with purple trim
braised rabbit
handmade pasta
with fresh pesto
I didn’t
fall in
love with
the chef
until I saw him
again seven
months later

the downbeat
at the beginning
of “And Your
Bird Can Sing”
the harmonies
I learned
while
my brother
played his guitar
the clear
awareness
that this moment
will be
a beloved
memory
like the moment
when you know
that this
is the most
beautiful
sunrise
you have
ever seen

Elizabeth Dingmann Schneider is a writer and poetry editor for Red Bird Chapbooks. She lives and works in Minneapolis. Her first chapbook, Blood, is forthcoming from Red Bird. In addition, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mosaic; Commons Magazine; rock, paper, scissors; The Saint Paul Almanac; DOG EAR; and the What Light Poetry Contest.
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