signature moves


    Every so often, when I sign my name,
    the person behind the counter says,
    “That’s quite a signature,”
    as though I’ve done nothing but scribble.
    “No one else can imitate it,”
    is always my answer,
    “that’s what makes it my signature.”

    My morning movements are as much
    a signature as my recognizable scratch,
    my hands moving from muscle
    memory to trim the strawberries
    and stand them up to slice, then
    splaying them out like pages, and
    surrounding them with the blueberries

    I picked myself the other day;
    they taste like the neighborhood.
    The fruit sits on a plate we’ve had
    as long as we’ve been married,
    when I first began to work on a
    new signature because my name
    changed along with yours,
    as we wrote something new together.

    And then there’s your coffee:
    My hands move with the same confidence
    I show when I sign my name.
    This is who I am.

    This is who we are.
    I can’t think of one without the other.
    The daily mixture of fresh and
    familiar, what is known scratched
    on the surface of this new day,
    held together by a hyphen,
    my favorite piece of punctuation.



    1. Great poem. My wife has her way and I have mine; but when we got married we discovered that “our” way is what works best for “us.”

      I still practice the habits that are unique to my character, as does she. These are the things that attract each of us to the other, or drive the other nuts; but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

    2. Wonderful.

      [But, I must say that perhaps flay isn’t the word you were seeking (splay, perhaps?).]

      However, I will certainly have an image of your carefully arranged dish, and the aroma of coffee, in my mind when I go to pick over the blueberries waiting in the fridge this evening and turn them into jam.

    3. Just wanted to apologize for my insensitivity when introducing you to a friend – many years ago at UBC. I recall the event when you corrected my intro, by my leaving out the Brasher, and I gave some remark that I know was stupid. Thankfully life has helped me see the niavete in my closed-minded thinking. Glad to hear/see you and Ginger are doing well – and doing well at your vocations. Would love to stay in touch better.

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