Ona Gritz


You can stop shaving your legs
when the temperature drops
and he'll say he likes a change
in texture with the seasons. You can
leave that bit of silver in your bangs.
Your fashion advice will be gospel.
When he tells you you're beautiful,
you'll know he's talking about
something in you that's timeless,
something about you that's true.
If, teasing, he says that smearing color
on your face is what a clown does,
explain how a touch of blush
can change the feel of entering a room
and he'll listen. He'll always listen
like the wide world is a raft with only
two people on it and he finds you
the more interesting of the two.
Imagine going with him to the Rockies.
He hears you sigh and asks
what the mountains look like. All you have
are words. Awesome. Grandeur.
But when you describe that feeling
of seeing your one life for the flicker it is,
he knows. Oh, he says. Oh.
It's like hearing music in a cathedral.

*Originally published in Tiferat: a Journal of Spiritual Literature.


Ona Gritz is a poet, columnist, and author of two children's books. Her poetry chapbook, Left Standing, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2005. Gritz's essays have been published in The Utne Reader, More magazine and The Bellingham Review, placing second for the 2008 Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction. Her poetry manuscript Geode was chosen as a finalist for the 2013 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award and will be published by their press sometime this coming winter. Gritz's monthly column on mothering and disability can be found online at Literary Mama . She has received nine Pushcart nominations.