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poetry

THE TRAPEZE ARTIST
by
Susan Peters

Says: I love you

lets go the rope


In a silence, falls:

hits the net, bounces up—

nothing injured but pride


Hears: I love you too

catches the outstretched hands


A fool asks: Do you love me?

works with no net,

the timing is off,

hope

plummets

like

stone


The crowd,

horrified,

cannot look away



YOUNG GRANNY
by
Susan Peters

No, I didn't marry young.

My daughter came along

when I was twenty-seven.

She was no teenager

when she got pregnant, either.

And though it's nice

to be taken for my grandchild's mother

by thirty-year-old fathers in the park,

the real joy is climbing up the slide

then flying down,

lap full of laughing child.

(The real joy

is in the body's memory of youth:

baby on one hip, keys in my jeans,

striding along as though I am

immortal.)



IMP
by
Susan Peters

My friend the energy healer

sees auras, he says,

each color signifies an inner state.

I listen

though I can't admit belief.

Today he told me

of a woman who'd come

in agony, her head throbbing,

gripped and squeezed by bony fingers

"like the devil himself was in there."

He'd put her in deep relaxation

(eyes closed, breathing normally)

moved his hands above her head

all the while murmuring,

drawing out the pain.

As he fell into the rhythm

a cloud emerged, formless,

a greenish fog that stung his eyes,

suggestions of claws and teeth.

He pushed the thing away,

saw it rise and melt

into the ceiling panels.

The woman sighed: It's gone.

It was green, I think.

And as he told me this

he moved away, squinting a bit,

sensing beneath my patient smile

a flash of teeth

a glimmering of green.



Susan Peters has been published in Countries and Their Cultures, the Peace Corpsí Voices from the Field, the Kansas City Star, and Lucidity. After working in Russia, Poland, Japan, and several other countries, she returned to her Midwestern roots in 2006 to teach English pronunciation, writing, and grammar at a community college in Kansas City. She is a member of the Kansas City Writers Group, and periodically escapes the Kansas summers for the sea breezes of Big Tancook Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia.

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