“Scintilla” by Jeanne Yu

Jeanne Yu


One of the reasons I fell in love 
with my husband is every once 
in a while, he uses a word I read 
somewhere, but I had never heard 
out loud.  
It wasn’t I was so impressed with 
his vocabulary as I was impressed
that I felt he was very ordinarily 
valiant in trying to rescue these 
words, those that were harder to 
say, or had more nuanced meaning 
or because it often took effort to
think of them, and through no 
fault of their own, had lost their 
way and were fading into 
Never was he boastful about this 
gallantry, nor did he overthink it, 
he just in no extraordinary way 
hunted momentarily and rather
than offering his handkerchief 
as he often did, he would instead 
gently pull out a salvaged word 
and place it in that perfect 
moment before sunset 
so we could hear it aloud
together, one more time.

from Rattle #78, Winter 2022


Jeanne Yu: “I write to make sense of life in this world … and to make sure I am paying attention to the little things that matter as well as the big things, because I have come to know they are all connected. I’m an engineer, mom, and environmentalist, every day trying my best—some days are harder than others—to live from a place of my hope for the world.”

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