Susie Sweetland Garay – Three Poems

susie-269-of-315Susie Sweetland Garay was born and raised in Portland Oregon, she received a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Brigham Young University, spent some years in the Ohio Appalachians and currently lives in the Willamette Valley with her husband and daughter where she works in the vineyard industry. She enjoys finding beauty and meaning in the everyday. She has had poetry and photography published in a variety of journals, online and in print. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014 and first full length poetry collection, Approximate Tuesday, was published in 2013. Her second book, Strange Beauty, is forthcoming from Aldrich Press (2015). She is a founding editor of The Blue Hour Literary Magazine and Press and relishes the work that she does there. More of her work can be found at


I woke to the telling of secrets

and a test
that I passed,


only seeing its true
importance after
time has passed.

I was surprised by
his ability to keep
something from me so fully.

I suppose I should remember this,
I think, though I know I would rather not.

But then it becomes clear that
forgetting would not be so easy.

But then
we go to the river
and cook dinner together on
a Friday night
and it all feels so
far away.

Nothing feels as if it’s changed
so maybe that means it hasn’t.

We all just keep what works
and discard what doesn’t.

It is that simple.

I resist when I feel myself
try to complicate it.

Instead I say I think today
Needs some art
In it

and I go inside to get
some paint.

Death in the country

Out here
in this country life
we are surrounded by death.

But it is not as sad
as you would think.

It is small
and natural
and common.

On good days
it is not cruel

but not every day
is a good day.

Sometimes it brings tears
and seems horribly

But I think it is
a good place
to learn
of it.

Where it is
and small
and often feels
more forgivable.


On a particularly rough day,
I sit in the living room floor
with my daughter

each of us taking turns
playing and crying and
holding the other.

So we decide to
get out of the house,
though the day is dark
and grey and
full of rain

I know right away it was the right choice.

The feel of the air
through the open car window
is enough to make us both forget
what we were crying about.



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