Sarah White

Let Your Work Be a Surprise to You

It’s as if the game
were to fish
words from a brook
with a seine
or a slotted spoon—
bug, scum, weed, leaf,

and as if, from upstream,
came a fly, trout fly,
a “Royal Coachman”
my brother tied toward the end
of his life, with trim feathers
floating like a grief
between the surface
and the weeds underneath.

Sarah White is a former professor who doesn’t teach French Literature any more but instead divides her time between poetry and painting.