Poem of the Week, by Suzanne Cleary

We’re born with backups, twinned in so many ways: two hands, two ears, two eyes, two kidneys. Lose one and the other steps right up and does the job of both. But not with the heart. We each have only one of them.

Echocardiogram
– Suzanne Cleary

How does, how does, how does it work
so, little valve stretching messily open, as wide as possible,
all directions at once, sucking air, sucking blood, sucking air-in-blood,
how? On the screen I see the part of me that always loves my life, never tires
of what it takes, this in-and-out, this open-and-shut in the dark chest of me,
tireless, without muscle or bone, all flex and flux and blind
will, little mouth widening, opening and opening and, then, snapping
shut, shuddering anemone entirely of darkness, sea creature
of the spangled and sparkling sea, down, down where light cannot reach.
When the technician stoops, flips a switch, the most unpopular kid in the class
stands off-stage with a metal sheet, shaking it while Lear raves.
So this is the house where love lives, a tin shed in a windstorm,
tin shed at the sea’s edge, the land’s edge,
waters wild and steady, wild and steady, wild.

​For more information on Suzanne Cleary, please click here.


My blog: alisonmcghee.com/blog

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