My brother and I still savor the summer
the rain decided to stop
and our grandfather
picked up from the kitchen table
a hexagonal, glass saltshaker
small enough to match a preschooler’s palm,
and hooked his index finger as if to say
in the international language of love and silence,

Follow me

and we followed him
to see what was so earth-shattering

and the moment he placed
in each of our palms
our own individual

~ ~ ~
James B. Nicola’s poems have appeared in the Antioch, Southwest and Atlanta Reviews; Rattle; Tar River; and Poetry East. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. His four poetry collections are Manhattan Plaza (2014), Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (2016), Wind in the Cave (2017), and Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists (2018). You can find more about him at