Stew, a poem by Sandra Kohler ’61

Sandra Kohler’s third collection of poems, Improbable Music (Word Press), was published in 2011. Earlier collections are The Country of Women (Calyx, 1995) and The Ceremonies of Longing (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals over the past 35 years. Born in New York City in 1940, Sandra attended public schools there, before matriculating at Mount Holyoke. She then went on to earn her masters and Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College. Sandra’s taught literature and writing in venues ranging from elementary school to university. She lives in Massachusetts.

The first of March, snow falling like rain,
straight, heavy, insistent. My dreams were
densely plotted, thick with incident I can’t

remember. My life is thick with something
other than incident: a stew of memory, fear,
longing, unfinished business, unrealized

intention. Will it snow all morning? My head’s
awhirl with the five women I met yesterday,
their husbands, daughters, sons, people we

each carry with us, willing or not: a world of
connections we’re born into, choose, birth.
Here, in mine, someone stirs: who’s up and

why? March snow is still falling. Should I
shovel before it stops, will a broom shift it,
should I serve asparagus before stew, is there
enough stew? I’m who made the stew I’m in.


This entry was posted in Food Issue 2013, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , by Sandi Sonnenfeld. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sandi Sonnenfeld

Sandi Sonnenfeld is a fiction writer and essayist. Her memoir, This Is How I Speak (2002: Impassio Press), which recounts how her views about what it means to be a woman in contemporary America changed after suffering a dangerous sexual assault, was a Booksense 76 finalist. With the memoir’s publication, she was named a 2002 Celebration Author by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, which recognizes writers whose work merits special notice. Sandi has published more than two-dozen short stories and essays in Sojourner, Voices West, Hayden’s Ferry Review, ACM, Raven Chronicles, Necessary Fiction, Perigee, Revolution House and The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review among others. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Sandi holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Washington, where she won the Loren D. Milliman Writing Fellowship. She currently resides in New York's glorious Hudson Valley with her husband and the two of the world's most playful cats.

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