A Taste of Blue

I tell my father about the way
I collect small things
in the sacs of my heart—

thick juniper berries
apple cores that retain their shape
and the click of shells
that sound like an oven baking.

He presses the mole on my shoulder
that matches his shoulder,
proof that I was not found
at the bottom of the sea.

I also got his feet, far from
Cinderella’s dainty glass slippers—
and fingers, too wide for most

Cracker Jack wedding rings.
I read how some mammals never
forget their young—

their speckled spots, odd goat
cries, or birthmarks on curved
ivory tusks. There must be some
thread of magic there

cooling honey to stone—where
like recognizes like or how
a rib seeks its twin.


Copyright © 2016 by Cynthia Manick. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 15, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“‘A Taste of Blue’ deals with the poet’s heart and the hearts that raise them. You look at family members with similar facial features and there’s an undeniable connection to them and ancestry. In contrast, most older generations with blue collar jobs don’t see poetry as a vocation, but love and recognize their children all the same.”
—Cynthia Manick