About this Poem 

"I wrote this in a spring Sarah Lawrence class about the sonnet, a form I love that always makes me say what I don't know I know. The punctuation is left out in my usual attempt to make the sound of a translation, from some other language I almost understand."—Suzanne Gardinier

Gapped Sonnet

Suzanne Gardinier, 1961

Between the blinds Past the coded locks
Past the slanted gold bars of the day
Smelling of all-night salt rain on the docks
Of grief Of birth Of bergamot Of May

In the wind that lifts the harbor litter
Wet against my fingers in a dream
Salvaging among the tideline's bitter
gleanings Generous Exigent Lush and lean

Your voice A tune I thought I had forgotten
The taste of cold July brook on my tongue
A fire built on thick ice in the winter
The place where lost and salvaged meet and fit
The cadences a class in grief is taught in
The sound when frozen rivers start to run

 

Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Gardinier. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on March 4, 2013.

Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Gardinier. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on March 4, 2013.

Suzanne Gardinier

Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on January 25, 1961, poet and essayist Suzanne Gardinier earned her BA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her MFA at Columbia University.