After skimming the Sunday Times, Dad turned to the back of the


and tore out the crossword puzzle for his mother in Wisconsin-- 


as routine as my calligraphy class on Saturdays, flute practice exactly twenty minutes on school nights 


and astringent twice daily. I loved the idea of puzzles 

but never tried my hand as problem-solving rubbed up against rivalry-- 


red velvet cake, red velvet dress, trilling-- 


because nothing was never enough and yet 

more than a small rectangular lawn and the pulsing marsh beyond. 


A puzzle might've been escape enough. A maze--instead of crossword? 


No, cross words were our puzzles, after all. Although my sister and I


jigsaw pieces. Five-hundred. A zoo, I think. Giraffes, absolutely. 



Copyright � 2013 by Kimiko Hahn. Used with permission of the author.  

About This Poem
"'Giraffes' is from a new collection that continues my fascination with science--in this case, neuroscience. While reading about puzzles in Benedict Carey's 'Tracing the Spark of Creative Problem-Solving,' I came upon words and images that triggered a personal response. This often occurs when words have multiple meanings, like 'cross.'"

--Kimiko Hahn

Most Recent Book by Hahn

(W. W. Norton and Company, 2011)








July 25, 2013

Kimiko Hahn is the author of numerous books of poetry, including, most recently, Toxic Flora (W. W. Norton and Company, 2011). She is a Distinguished Professor in the MFA program at Queens College.  
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