Issue > Poetry
Susan Grimm

Susan Grimm

Susan Grimm’s book of poems, Lake Erie Blue, was published in 2004. She won the Copper Nickel Poetry Prize (2010) and the Hayden Carruth Poetry Prize (2011). In 2014, she received her second Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council.

Getting In And Out Of The Car At The Bird Sanctuary

We drive past the red-headed man, his camera and tripod.
His wife sits in the car. Slow on the dirt road under the wind

that blows longings through the grass. We can hear them, loose
colonies of yellow-headed blackbirds, their scratchy, sure

low-level interrogatives. Like five fingers of a hand
stretching, we get out with our different hats. Wander

the borders of the marshy fields, the narrow bridge.
The cows with their ugly mismatched ear-bobs stare

aggressively. The red-headed man comes closer, focuses on a pair
of Sandhill cranes. His wife joins in to check us out. Not me/us

but the us that are friendly and live in Cleveland Heights.
Sometimes I need sanctuary from the conversation of others

though I look through the lens at the birds' air-jumping romp.
Then roll away loose as a marble. The wind blows

through as if I were a window or a screen where nothing will catch.


There are some that cook and some that eat and some
that dye their hair. The oldest stays upstairs, drops

an annual note through the rails. The youngest
keeps changing chairs, outlasting the candles

and the wood. All the old mares settle down
in their boxy aprons, knots in the ties. Boil

some potatoes for just these six, gossiping in pairs.
Slouching or elbows. They run through a skit

of their parts—who gets to tell what joke. They slip
their heels out of their shoes. Coffee. Toast

on a stick. All the dead aunts in their skullcaps
of gray. Outside a forest of sycamore thickens.

Something threshes out of the sky, humming
like a rare cancerous toy. The sister in the eaves

swears. She is tired of being first, of waiting for the rest
to bumble out, pin their tongues and skirts up, clarify

at last the barracuda in the evening shrubbery.


Bruce Willard

Bruce Willard
January Bus Ride


Phil Timpane

Phil Timpane
She Tells Me


Emily Ransdell

Emily Ransdell
Bowling In Heaven