Silhouette of person under starry sky

Two Poems by Susan Kelly-DeWitt

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Gravitational Tug

What snakes out from the universe is real

                         It’s the road we rake, the path that nabs us

With its bloody thumb. The sun is our candle,

                                  True, and that night sky all too dark even with

Those spangles and waves, with the hurtle of it

                         Whipping around us. “I had nothing to do but walk

Into nowhere,” O’Keeffe said. Some days it feels

                                  Entirely whole to me, others it’s all just spilled

Powders mixed up, red troubles and abyss.

                         I feel the gravitational tug of each least thing,

An ant, a speck of breadcrumb, and I sense

                                  How the trees move aside a fraction of a fraction

Of an inch, how they want to make me over,

                         Rearrange my atoms, scramble the flocks of me

Into seed or wind or leaf. Soon enough.



Walk to the Farmer’s Market

through the neighborhoods
through the old city
cemetery, where the pioneers nest
where the jailbirds working off
time dig, water, rake, swing
their weed-eaters back and forth
over, across, around the mounds.

Silk roses, white, in the arms
of a cherub—they look spotless, brand
new, though the grave is eighteen
hundreds. There’s the smell
of fresh mown grass, the scent
we’ll remember when we mingle later
in the fruit and vegetable stalls, under
the freeway overpass that hangs
above it all like a bridge
to the afterlife.




Susan Kelly-DeWitt is the author of Gravitational Tug (Main Street Rag, 2020), The Fortunate Islands (Marick Press), and eight small press collections. Her work appears in many journals and anthologies, most recently The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry.

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