by Susan L. Leary

When I was in what I thought was the prime of my life,

relaxed & self-contented—
more than okay with things,

you taught me to look through the trees
& into something else:             the way,    mid-afternoons,

the sun shone so bright & even,
it read to us our fortunes.

There we were:      flat-backed on the grass & parallel
with what we once sought,

with what we assumed was at too great
a distance—                   imagining now,

with the loftiest ease,
that once we were children.

That once we were on the other side of the sky,

as tiny & invisible as a god:
the leaves gesturing above us the way across my chest,

my one hand reaches for its other & cradles into itself on end.

How when I was six or seven
& lost in the fields,      I held yours—

foolish enough to believe the atmosphere
were made of bone & flesh.

That it too were wild with deprivation.

So much so, the whole cosmos spread like stunned honey through my palms.

So that even now,
a finger’s length of sun between us,

I remember you—
I remember that in another life is simply

right here,

is today.


SUSAN L. LEARY’S poetry has been published or is forthcoming in such places as Posit JournalThe Christian CenturyArcturus (Chicago Review of Books), Pretty Owl Poetry, Burningword Literary Journal, and Into the Void. She is both a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, and her chapbook, This Girl, Your Disciple, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in August 2019. She teaches English Composition at the University of Miami (FL). Find her at www.susanlleary.com.


Photo: “Poppy Field” by Richard Walker