A Poem by Susan Grimm

Susan Grimm

Susan Grimm

Susan Grimm’s poems have appeared in Blackbird, Poetry East, The Journal, and other publications. Her book of poems, Lake Erie Blue, was published by BkMk Press in 2004. She also edited Ordering the Storm: How to Put Together a Book of Poems (2006). She won the inaugural Copper Nickel Poetry Prize (2010) and the Hayden Carruth Poetry Prize (2011). Her chapbook Roughed Up by the Sun’s Mothering Tongue was published by Finishing Line Press in 2011. In 2014 she received her second Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She blogs at The White Space Inside the Poem.

At the Lecture on Atmosphere and Special Effects

Outside the leaves frantic with wind like a man
working to get someplace else until the moment

he drops. Background footsteps fog. Slow dolly
forward with a squeaky wheel. The audience always

in the dark, unless they’re in the car’s backseat,
incandescent with hands. But what shuffles 

forward. What scrapes the roof. The key on the ground
in an excess of leaf mould. Even though we’ve left 

the city, even though this is our city now
with its tuneful radio and modest cup of change. 

Our cabin in the woods with its architecture of limbs.
Is suspense an emotion. We change shape, breath, 

scramble for edges and moistures. Plackets and clefts.
How is it that even unthinking we are still afraid.