In the kitchen, we’ve found 

our way again to that stale-

cracker conversation, grooved


and grimed like these sticky

kitchen chairs, uneven, warped. 


The trailing off of a voice, 

muffled traffic through a window.

Dirty water glasses. 


How did we get here? 

Sometime years ago we dropped 

the car keys in a snowbank 

and never bothered to search, 


figuring there would be a thaw. Now 

our life is too often a dank 

and sweaty waiting room 

with only golf magazines.


I think of the back page 

of my tax form booklet 

that says This page 

intentionally left blank

lying through its teeth. 


I leave the kitchen. 

Truly blank 

means there’s still a chance, means

a place where God could write. 


I lie down, splay myself 

belly up, thinking 

This page intentionally left blank.


I am Bethlehem, in a desert, 

waiting. (As are you, back

in that kitchen.) Surely

something is coming.



Darlene Young published her first collection, Homespun and Angel Feathers (BCC Press) in 2019.  She has served as poetry editor for Dialogue and Segullah journals, and currently teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University. Her work has been noted in Best American Essays and nominated for Pushcart prizes. She lives in South Jordan, Utah, with her husband and sons.