It sounds smooth in my mouth when I sing
like the whisper of water
on a cool sandy shore of the Pacific—
the sun setting in the distance.

But that stanza was me getting lost in the silly sea
of metaphoric alliterations and lyrical nonsense
instead of really discussing
the significance of the letter S.

But what is important?
S begins my surname and first name, just like my dad’s.
I guess it’s really true when my mom says,
You are your father’s daughter. Spiteful or not.

Yet, spite has nothing to do with this letter—
it curves like the switchbacks in the mountains
so stunning and friendly,
never wanting to hurt a soul.

I’ve carried S with me for my whole life,
slung across my shoulders like a satchel—
a permanent travel companion,
always working for me, rarely resting.

But when S finally rests on its side,
it becomes half of the infinity symbol
and looks just like my sweetheart as he sleeps next to me—
someplace I could stay forever.

—Stephanie Schultz


BIO: Stephanie Schultz is a poet and marathon runner. She is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in print in Paddlefish and Lifting the Sky: An Anthology of Southwestern Haiku and Haiga, and online at tcmevents.org and talk.brooksrunning.com.