Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Poem by Suzette Bishop

Take Me In


Woods, but near enough
To still see the house
Through a Japanese screen
Of leaves, evergreen branches.
Earthen path take me
Into the smell of leaves,
New, ripe fluid inside with Spring,
Crumbled to a dry, musky powder
With late Fall.
Vines take me to the canopy,
To bark breaking under my hand,
In bird-song,
In speckled sunlight.


Ocean, briny
Underwater heave
Over my head,
Pulling sand from my feet,
Sometimes something sharp,
Keep me to depths where I can still
Stand, looking out to where
The bottom falls away.


Saltwater marsh,
Allowing a break
In the sea grass
Toward the cormorant praising


Brush country,
Green despite aridness,
Stickers, thorns
From a delicate, tensile branch
Scraping my jeans,
Cactus hiding venomous creatures,
Baby rabbit watching, uneaten.
Thunder, wind me through
Smell of sage,
Smell of Huisache,
To follow your hoof prints
Back out,
If we can find them.

Suzette Bishop teaches at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas, and is a contributing editor for Stockport Flats Press.  She has published three books of poetry, Hive-Mind, Horse-Minded, and She Took Off Her Wings and Shoes, and a chapbook, Cold Knife Surgery.  Her poems have appeared in many journals and in the anthologies Imagination & Place:  An Anthology, The Virago Book of Birth Poetry, and American Ghost:  Poets on Life After Industry.  A poem from her first book won the Spoon River Poetry Review Editors' Prize Contest.  In addition to teaching, she has given workshops for gifted children, senior citizens, writers on the US-Mexico border, at-risk youth, and for an afterschool arts program serving a rural Hispanic community.

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