Susans

By Northrop, Kate | Michigan Quarterly Review, Summer 2001 | Go to article overview

Susans


Northrop, Kate, Michigan Quarterly Review


Some do not have the luck

to die young. Some become

cashiers, tellers in a bank

and take smoke breaks outside,

even in freezing wind.

They button up their rumpled coats,

and vacation in the places they've dreamed of-Bermuda,

Aloha-where they've seen themselves

moving in the distance, stepping forward

silently, from trees, smiling, Usually

Susans settle heavy into age. Their legs thicken

and spread. They become

each other, become

each other's mothers,

not like her, Susan

Derkazarian, our beautiful girl

whose neck at seventeen snapped

Where the forces converged, she was at the heart

of the accident, in the nucleus

where all thought flocked

and snow was falling, at the silence

inside a crash

Then the news went out

rippling through the community, in circles, a concentric

aftershock. So death, suddenly, seemed

impossible. Because what of Susan's

blond thighs? …

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