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The Names of Things

"I ask myself if words are important"

Published onDec 17, 2023
The Names of Things

Photo by Helena Lopes:

I want to tell you how the white horse moves
in the pasture, its ribs extended, the warmth
of the sun on my ankles, the yellow colors 
in the painting I love. How do I describe the taste
of just-picked grapes at the Tabarrini Vineyard?
or the weight of a child heavy on my shoulder,
the ripe smell of baby’s breath? Where are
words to replace tears after another school shooting? 
or define delight in a leaf-cupped raindrop? 
Locked in generalization like any woman bound
in a loveless marriage, no hope of escape, I ask 
myself if words are important. Yes, I am a poet. 
I need details, the names of things, steel to saw
you in half like a Vegas magician, then resurrect you.

Patricia Joslin is a retired educator who lives in Charlotte, NC. Poems have been published in Kakalak, Tipton Poetry Journal, Jerry Jazz Musician. Her chapbook, I’ll Buy Flowers Again Tomorrow was published in 2023 by Charlotte Lit Press. She loves live jazz, chamber music, solo travel and expensive red wine.

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