as dictionary. Silent as the word book. Unabridged. Not the kind you carry in your back pocket. You
must go home to stand agape before that hand-hewn cherry wood table lit by rainbow of abalone glass
holding all the words, a sketch of starlings flooding the Iowa plains just before snow falls. At your fingertips. Dog
ear me. Highlight. Memorize. How long it took to write the first Oxford English Dictionary?
Seventy years. An almost life- time to gather precise meaning. Unused words kicked to the curb for rubbish
pick-up. I've thrown away so much. Once I said the right thing and you leaned forward so quickly I couldn't uncross my arms. Crack
my spine to find crumbs and new adjectives. This is my body for you to find your way. Pluck
grace notes like the guitarist on the green that summer before the great migration.
Catherine Keefe is a California poet, essayist and social justice activist. Recent work appeared in Collateral Damage, a Pirene's Fountain Anthology, TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics, andThe Gettysburg Review. Catherine works as a story coach, helping families shape and document generational narratives. Her current writing project, Kind In Kind, is a yearlong effort to turn public attention towards the transformational effect of performing daily, simple acts of kindness. Follow along at www.catherinekeefe.com