Susan Okie

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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