Fuse #8

Friday, March 23, 2007

Poetry Friday - The Collected Works of Susan Ramsey

My mom.
Just to avoid confusion, this is my mom. My mom, my mom, my mom.
And here's your shot of poetry for the week.

From New Poems from the Third Coast: An Anthology of Michigan Poets [Wayne State University Press, 2000]

Aftereffects of Bell's Palsy

Having a good and bad ear comes in handy.
My bad ear, victim of a surgeon's saw
screaming through bone to free a facial nerve
has lost the very highest range of sounds--
bats, telephones, sirens at a distance,
mosquitoes if they're male, small children whining,
regret, ambition's wheedlings, most tactful hints.
Banshees can keen on my ridgepole all night long
and, exhausted, watch me leave for work,
brisk and refreshed from sleeping good ear down.

My undiminished left ear can perceive
the beginnings of nightmare in a sleeping child
two rooms away behind a closed door, hear
the click of covert glances at a party,
the first drop on the roof of the first rain
of April, surmise the maiden name and color
of the eyes of the grandmother of the boy
my daughter sits thinking of, based on her breathing.
It can hear loneliness seven lamp posts down
the street, slamming like a screen door in the wind.

[Aftereffects was also included in Primavera, Volume 21 ]

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9 Comments:

At 11:12 AM , Anonymous Rachel H said...

I love Fridays here.

 
At 12:24 PM , Anonymous Bonny Becker said...

Gosh, Betsy, let me get this straight. This is your mom?

...running and ducking...

 
At 2:15 PM , Anonymous barbjn said...

Betsy, that was a wonderful piece. I especially liked the "click of covert glances" and "loneliness seven lamp posts down the street..."

But let me ask: what was it like when you were younger and still at l home, thinking about boys, when both ears were still good?

Hmmm. Nosey minds want to know...

 
At 8:04 PM , Anonymous Greg T. said...

I've had many a covert glances in my day, but never did I hear them click. I'm going to have my ears checked immediately.

Greg

 
At 8:57 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Yeah, I know. I should ask her which boys she thought I liked. She'd get some of them right, but I know I had one or two she'd have never suspected.

 
At 11:23 PM , Blogger Nancy said...

That is lovely. I absolutely love the way your mother uses language!

 
At 9:40 AM , Blogger SilberBook-Blog said...

Lovely. Exquisite. Thank you (mom)

alan

 
At 6:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really lovely. So there's where you got your genes for language.
Now you've gone and done it - want to read more of yr. Mom's poetry (hint - April is national poetry month -there's an excuse). And her name is Susan to boot. Figures.
-Susan M.

 
At 11:48 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Click on the label of "Poetry of Susan Ramsey" and you'll see what I've posted on this blog of her work thus far.

 

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