Sarah A. V. Paden í98, is a singer and poet. At Smith she majored in Music and Italian Language and Literature, and saw the beginning of the Poetry Centerís tenure of inspiration. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Musicology at Princeton University, where she met the other members of her vocal trio, Celestial Mechanics (www.cmvocaltrio.com). Now a resident (with her husband and cat) of Palo Alto, CA, she is enjoying their encounter with the west coast side of the American story.
The sunrise beach of back in the days of Grandma;
When we went to bed especially early,
Pulled blinds to block out sun, and woke up to the
Still dark with special nerves tingling.
After racing sky, holding night to our breasts under seat belts,
We five proceeded to the rocks;
Made our way through what was predawn,
All our outsides cringing from the chill.
The wordless climb, two hands outstretched,
One solitary scramble.
There was ocean to avoid and embrace
As it pushed itself on silence—
All grey chops and silver underbellies, not yet conceiving color.
We sat with empty hearts brimming
Through the waiting and the guessing
Where exactly would the sun come? Where would it
Poke its cone head over that birthing rim?
But the first to see it would never point and yelp;
Perhaps and Ooh and Ah—more likely
For even children know what waiting is, and that
its end is always private, always awe.