Two Poems by Suzanne S. Rancourt

Half Life of Dawn

sunrise blankets shadows
blue jays squawk warnings – raptors swoop up
to dive down – talons pierce the backs of grey squirrels
everybody’s gotta eat

control currents – hold center – stay the course
winters first snow, open channels steam

i am my own evidence and reclaim the power
as coattails billow back to the past
front open, air circulates through
clothing thin skinned on its way to being human
being alive
acknowledge that a river has a flow
a direction and just because we are averse to getting wet
doesn’t mean we change the river.

shiver a breath across waves
learn how to hear this voice
learn to be present
in the water

CW: Violence

as though ethnic cleansing was a bearable task in justified culling

they were made to fuck their dead mothers
to lie in open graves motionless
for each twitch, a family member was shot
who’s listening now

Sarajevo burned – long grasses – flags of flame and fumes
plastic, decay, fuel, cordite cocktails – hungered for cloudbursts
pleaded with garden drizzle, please, drench
the war’s fecundity into cover crops –
brass shell casings patinaed with oxidation muck, bones, shit
the new camouflage – the same justifications

What does a violated body remember?
stew on the back of a stove
dried shit between the legs, gun oil, cherry blossoms,
purple thistle heads, daisies, the drone of bees, picking berries,
lifting bushels of apples, autumn harvest potatoes,
a whistle, a screech, rumbling F-14s

Ashes, Ashes…
We all fall down…

Multi-modal EXAT, Suzanne S. Rancourt, Abenaki/Huron descent, has published 2 books: Billboard in the Clouds, 2nd print, Northwestern UP, received the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award, and murmurs at the gate, Unsolicited Press, 2019. A 3rd book, Old Stones, New Roads, is under contract, and her 4thSongs of Archilochus, seeks a press.  She is a USMC and Army Veteran who holds an MS in psychology – SUNY, Albany and an MFA in writing – VCFA. Suzanne is widely published.  Please visit her website for a complete publication list: Twitter: @FlameSuzy

Banner: Mural, a digital painting by Robert Frede Kenter

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