I Tell You, a poem by Susan F. Glassmeyer, from The Incomplete Litany of Untold Stories

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 ochre 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 Glassmeyer ~

(The Incomplete Litany of Untold Stories)

In this interview, Ideas Live: Joy, November 2018, Susan Glassmeyer sets up the poem with the story behind it at 25:50, then reads I Tell You.

Susan Glassmeyer’s advice in the interview reminds me of what poet Mary Oliver said: “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”

Mary Oliver elaborated it in this 3-line poem: Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. / Be astonished. / Tell about it.

Also see On Old Congress Run Road, a hauntingly beautiful poem by Susan F. Glassmeyer.

Read more of her poems in Sixfold Journal’s Poetry Winter 2015.

Susan Glassmeyer is the co-director of the Holistic Health Center of Cincinnati and has a private practice as a somatic therapist, specializing in the Feldenkrais Method®. She recently won a grant through Xavier University (Cincinnati) to complete work on a chapbook titled “Body Matters.”  She promotes local writing classes, workshops, and activities through her website www.LittlePocketPoetry.Org.

On April 16, 2018, Susan Glassmeyer published Invisible Fish, a collection of new and previously published selected poems. In March 2019, I purchased a signed copy directly from Susan. So glad I did.

Visit the new website of this Ohio Poet of the Year 2018.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: