Johanna in the Kitchen

Janice D. Soderling


Observe this child

standing at the brink of her life,

the ferry of this very morning

launching her to new learning.

Delight on her pert face as,

nodding like a snowdrop,

she explores my kitchen,

spoon in hand, tap-tapping:

now against a wooden door (listen),

now against a shiny pan lid (listen)

now against a tumbler of blue glass (listen).

Oh, vibrations of the heart,

the quiver of expectation.

Listening for the first time.

Too soon we cease to hear

the repercussions of our touch

on the tuning fork of friendship,

on the sounding board of love.

Johanna smiles and whispers:


Janice D. Soderling was born and raised in southern Indiana but lives in Sweden. Print journals that have published her work include Beloit Poetry Journal, Blue Unicorn, Tar River Poetry (USA); Event, Fiddlehead, Malahat Review (Canada); Acumen, Anon, Other Poetry, Staple (UK). Janice was winner in 2006 and finalist in 2007 at Glimmer Train competitions. Also in  2007, she was runner-up at Other Stories, and received an award for her writing in Swedish. Janice is represented in Swedish and American anthologies. Her work, including translations, appears at many on-line sites.