Cincinnati Poetry Month Daily: I Tell You by Susan Glassmeyer

Thanks to the Academy of American Poets, April has been our National Poetry Month since 1996. I am pleased to participate in this National Celebration by offering a poem (or more!) a day written by a Greater Cincinnati poet. Susan Glassmeyer is a fitting first poet. For ten Aprils Susan offered our community daily “April Gifts,” poems from across the globe she selected, researched and provided to our email inboxes. Susan retired the project last April 30 to give attention to her own writing (a new book soon, we hope!) but there may be an anthology of those delicious Gifts one of these days. Susan lives and works in Springfield Township and is a member of the Greater Cincinnati Writers League. I offer you:

I Tell You

I could not predict the fullness
of the day. How it was enough
to stand alone without help
in the green yard at dawn.

How two geese would spin out
of the opal sun, opening my spine,
curling my head up to the sky
in an arc I took for granted.

And the lilac bush by the red
brick wall flooding the air
with its purple weight of beauty?
How it made my body swoon,

brought my arms to reach for it
without even thinking.

In class today a Dutch woman split
in two by a stroke—one branch
of her body a petrified silence—
walked leaning on her husband

to the treatment table, while we,
the unimpaired, looked on with envy.
How he dignified her wobble,
beheld her deformation, untied her

shoe, removed the brace that stakes
her weaknesses. How he cradled
her down in his arms to the table
smoothing her hair as if they were

alone in their bed—I tell you,
his smile would have made you weep.

At twilight I visit my garden
where the peonies are about to burst.

Some days there will be more
flowers than the vase can hold.
Susan F. Glassmeyer
Body Matters (Pudding House Press, 2010)
The poem can be found online .

Author: Pauletta Hansel

Pauletta Hansel is a poet, memorist, teacher and editor. On April 15, 2016 she was named Cincinnati's first Poet Laureate. Pauletta is author of five poetry collections, Tangle (Dos Madres Press, 2015), The Lives We Live in Houses (Wind Publications, 2011), What I Did There (Dos Madres Press, 2011), First Person (Dos Madres Press, 2007) and Divining (WovenWord Press, 2002). Her poetry has been featured recently in journals including Talisman, Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine, Appalachian Journal, Atlanta Review, Postcards Poems and Prose and Still: The Journal, and anthologized in Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia; Motif: Come What May; and Motif: All the Livelong Day. Pauletta leads community poetry workshops and retreats in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond, and has served as Writer-in Residence at Thomas More College in her native Kentucky. She is a co-editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. Pauletta received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte.

4 thoughts on “Cincinnati Poetry Month Daily: I Tell You by Susan Glassmeyer”

  1. A lovely poem to start the month of April. It’s full of tender emotion and visual beauty. Thank you Susan for all the wonderful poems you have brought us over the years.

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