Hush. Poems by Susan M. Craig, selected by Ron Mohring as Number Two in Volume Ten of our Summer Kitchen Chapbook Series.
Release date: August 13, 2022 [49 copies]
Cover: vintage quilting cotton.
Susan M. Craig is a native South Carolinian, poet and artist who loves to travel, read and write poetry, and settle into nature. She finds inspiration in complexities of the human spirit, and the increasing urgency of ecological truth-telling. Her poems have appeared in multiple journals, including Mom Egg Review, Poetry South, Kakalak, Quiet Diamonds, and others. Hush is her first published chapbook; she is at work on a full-length collection.
Our Father’s Feet
Our father’s feet were born of southern rivers—
Sunflower, Tennessee, Mississippi.
His feet were post-World-War jubilation, Scottish jigs,
poems by Robert Service with a practiced lilt.
They were I-beams & trusses, prefab metal sheeting,
engineers of fine houses & schools,
churches, hospital additions. Bold mechanical
rulers, pens clipped in shirt pockets.
His feet were rough-&-ready as the Bering Sea,
bold as zinnias in his summer garden.
His feet, undaunted, ascended Machu Picchu & Kilimanjaro,
climbed the gold spiral stairway to claim the finest loge
at the Moscow opera, two crystal glasses
full of Stolichnaya.
When he burned off his soles in the lake cabin grease fire,
we youngsters huddled in the back of the wagon
as our mother raced like a wild horse for town,
the only sound his low moan, steady as the hum of a motor.
All that summer we cavorted as his feet grew new bottoms,
sturdy as Chickamauga’s TVA dam.
In the days when our mother began her undiagnosed decline,
he’d come home from work weary, have us tug
the damp socks from his toes, then lie back with a sigh
in his leather recliner.
We didn’t know what to make of the silence, his feet unmoving,
wilted socks like little children. We would tiptoe
just past the TV with news barely buzzing, his eyes closed
for moments. His feet—flopped like moths succumbed in light.
[ Our thanks to Poetry South for first publishing this poem.]
- Limited edition: only 24 copies are available.
- Order your copy here. Thank you for supporting this poet!