Sarah Dickenson Snyder


I study names and faces
to find distinguishing features
so I won’t misname students
who look alike—the two blonde
ponytailed girls, one with a narrow face,
the other heart-shaped. The twins,
a mole next to the nose of one
of the white boys. Two black boys,
both with nearly shaved heads,
one hairline a “v” on his forehead.
Those two I never want to confuse—
I come from antique-laced baptism gowns
and so much whiteness handed down—
a Bible filled with names and dates
and back and back to a place
on the Mayflower, a relative waits
for the landing and the taking.


Sarah Dickenson Snyder has three poetry collections, The Human Contract, Notes from a Nomad (nominated for the Massachusetts Book Awards 2018), and With a Polaroid Camera (2019). She has been a 30/30 poet for Tupelo Press and nominated for Best of Net in 2017. Recent work has appeared in Rattle, Artemis, The Sewanee Review, and RHINO.

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