PoetryWinter 2023

Learning to Draw — Sarah Kotchian

Try to see the animal
as a series of shapes,
the book tells me,

a squirrel in ovals
to which you add details:
ear, eyes, nose. I squint.

My daughter is expecting twins.
At five months her belly
is a sphere

inside it two ovals
hard to draw
as one keeps spinning.

My daughter’s face an oval
her breasts circles within circles;
I imagine twins, their faces

being drawn even as we speak.
This week they are the size of ears of corn,
growing lungs, skin and fingerprints.

When they are born
they learn to draw
one breath, another,

their round eyes see shapes,
light and dark,
hands feel the warm place where milk comes.

I turn the page.
Here, I learn to do quick studies,
capture life in motion.


Sarah Kotchian is the author of Camino, poems about the author’s 500-mile solo pilgrimage in Spain, which received the New Mexico and Arizona Book Award and Seven Sisters Book Award.  Her collection, Light of Wings, is forthcoming from The University of New Mexico Press in 2024.  A contributor at the 2019 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Pushcart nominee, Kotchian’s writing has appeared in Split Rock Review, Stoneboat Literary Journal, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Tulip Tree Press, Wingless Dreamer, Persimmon Tree, Bosque Journal,  Presence,  ABQ inPrint, and on the podcast The Unruly Muse. She finds much writing inspiration from the wild lands around her home in New Mexico.

The author: Debra Marquart