Noticing – a poem by Sara Sutler-Cohen


The subtle similarities that strike you not as odd but so familiar they go unnoticed. 

And you are at once grounded and have taken flight, hovering above the dirt floor. Enough for security and fear to wrench your spirit. 

So you pay attention because a slippage of curiosity might cost you a soul’s eternity for what it’s worth. 

What is it worth, a soul? 

The darkness swallows cliffs of olive trees, the tips of their leaves scraping at the breeze. 

The sea laps at softened pebbles – or is it worn shards of glass? – and the echo reaches you, half a mile out. 

You are breathing. 

Breathe in the change, subtly visceral or viscerally subtle; you get to choose now because you hold the wheel, you hold the map, you hold the destiny.

Your destiny. 

And then there is the truth that lies beyond the pale. 

You listen for it, the regret, the pride, the woe, the joy. It’s just memory, which is confusing in its madness. 

Forgive it all. Forgive yourself. Forgive the past. Forgive them. Forgive. 

And we’re back. 


Sara Sutler-Cohen is an artist and writer living in the Andalucia region of Spain. She is from the East Bay, CA, and has published memoirs, short stories, poetry, prose, and academic writing over the years. She is the Program Director of Human Services at CSU Global. Find out more at

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