Tag Archives: Susan Okie

Hornworm
by Susan Okie

I pearl a leaf’s bottom,
a marble drinking light,

hatch out minute,
green as the leaf I rest on,

devour, mixing its yellows
with my blood’s blue

to match this leaf,
the next, the next, eating

my way down stems,
no time to savor. Your fruits

are dreams. I’m my own
ballooning. I embody,

transform—goliath worm,
a giant, pliant,

undulant cigar.
I swell till you can’t miss

the white diagonal stripes,
red horns. Wait

for the day I don’t eat:
time for a spell in Hades,

playing dead. Know it
by the cord pulsing

down my back—my heart,
rising to light.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 3.

Susan OkieSusan Okie is a doctor, a poet, and a former Washington Post medical reporter. She received her MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her poem, “Perseid,” was chosen by Michael Collier as the first prize winner in the 2012 Bethesda Poetry Contest.

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Prayer
by Susan Okie

Allow me the moment
when a bird trembles on my palm,
when I eat bread hot from the oven
or lick the honey of my love’s skin.

Let me not keep plums past ripeness,
knowing they must be tasted.
When we were new to each other,
he and I would stop the car, run into

the woods to lie down. Let me root
through the freezer for the ice cream.
We don’t know which moonrise
will be the last we see.

If you’re watching, if you made all this,
I guess you didn’t plan to keep it
to yourself. Probably you invented joy.
Why would you intend me to save it?

Make me as I was at six, the summer
before I learned about sin and penance—
feet bare in warm grass, the air delicious
on my skin, running to the backyard swing.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 2.

Susan OkieSusan Okie is a doctor, a poet, and a former Washington Post medical reporter. She received her MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her poem, “Perseid,” was chosen by Michael Collier as the first prize winner in the 2012 Bethesda Poetry Contest.

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Prayer in the Winter Desert
by Susan Okie

My hands glow blue
in light struck from red

rock. Sky-parched,
I stumble, bleached

by dark, bent from reading,
deaf with rain.

A raven’s croak
echoes off canyon walls.

In snow-melt air,
the smell of pine rings.

Blue-gray junipers jump
from crevices, hanging on.

Nopales, hungry, spread
their blue-green palms.

Light is writing
white-gold letters on cloud.

See me,
blue-white sun,

fill me, too,
chlorphyll me.
 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 4.

Susan OkieSusan Okie is a doctor, a poet, and a former Washington Post medical reporter. She received her MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her poem, “Perseid,” was chosen by Michael Collier as the first prize winner in the 2012 Bethesda Poetry Contest.

See all items about Susan Okie

Visit Susan Okie’s contributors page.