Susan Tepper – On a Calm Night by Susan Tepper

Susan Tepper is the author of nine published books of fiction and poetry. Her most recent titles are CONFESS (a poetry chapbook by Cervena Barva Press, 2020) and a funky road novel WHAT DRIVES MEN (Wilderness House Press, 2019) shortlisted at American Book Fest Best Book Awards. Tepper has been nominated eighteen times for the Pushcart Prize, and has received many honors and awards.

On a Calm Night by Susan Tepper

Shoved together, cozily,
in ways that we cannot,
the Rose of Sharon
from a neighbor’s garden
sprouted up this year
in my own rumbly garden—
Arced clusters, fast and
determined white blooms
purple centered
eclipsed winding vines and
weed trees, wild fern,
and one of six
remaining pink climbers:
hybrid roses took all day
to dig through rock,
my sweat, bashing open
the root ball, gnats biting;
the mountain looming;
hopes running high saw
glorious pink up the fence
soon bursting— swiftly dashed
eaten down to the roots
on a calm night. By one
or many voracious deer
or any starving thing.



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