Susie Patlove

 

Susie lives with her husband, Les, in an intentional community they helped found in Charlemont, Mass. in 1972. They have raised three boys there as well as countless animals and vegetables. Her poems have been published in several journals and in the anthology, Crossing Paths, An Anthology of Poems by Women. Her first book of poems, Quickening, was published in 2007. Susie took lay Buddhist vows at the Valley Zendo in 1982 and works at the Arms Library in Shelburne Falls.

 

 


 


 

Susie Patlove '69

 

The War in Me

He went into the air, my father,
the night he died.
Huge fistfuls of who he was
thickened the indoor sky.
I buried that air inside my bones,
took a long breath of him into
the girl he'd seeded
on another night, his uniform
over the sudden chair, in his ears
the sound of boots marching,
in his nose the burst smell
of blood and cordite.
Inside the body of my mother,
I grew from his need to forget.

Years later, my hand resting
over his stopped heart, all questions
became unanswerable, took off
through the green hospital wall,
perched on the ledge below his window
and waited for a time
when who he was would surface
in the look of a young stranger,
a blue-eyed corporal
who on the road to Baghdad

had done what he could not tell.