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Thursday, December 29, 2016


by Sue Reed Crouse

You will tire
of using his face

to pick up dog shit.
You will quit saying cataclysm

because cataclysm unites
a country. You will cull Facebook,

CNN, the front page from your day.
You will say, I’m done, I’m through

fuck it. You will get your household
Canada-ready. You will roam the woods,

call on the willow, golden in the low light
and the pond, steeped in the oak’s rich tannins.

But then, you will go downtown and see
Somali school girls swinging, their shashs

billowing and you’ll drive on Lake Street,
where Dia de los Muertos celebrations—

with marigolds, calavaras, offrendas
were held last week. You will

pass houses
flying the rainbow flag

and you’ll go home
and get to work.

Sue Reed Crouse is a 2011 graduate of the Foreword Program, a two-year poetry apprenticeship at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Much of her work is elegiac in nature, exploring themes of grief and loss after losing Laura, her 20 year-old daughter in 2008. Finding fresh ways to explore this universal theme through image-driven poetry helps her navigate the sorrow and, hopefully, help others who grieve. Crouse’s work appears in Verse Wisconsin, The Aurorean (Showcase Poet), The Talking Stick (First Prize, Honorable Mention), Grey Sparrow, Earth’s Daughters, Damselfly Press, Midway Journal, Sleet Magazine, Unhinged, Little Lantern Press and a chapbook entitled Gatherings: A Foreword Anthology. Her manuscript One Black Shoe was a finalist for the Backwaters Prize last year.