Sunday, January 23, 2011


 susan ambrosino

Are you required to love all your fellow earthmates ?
Must you understand every one of them,
think of them as brothers and sisters?
All those people with boot prints on their backs,
tear stains down their cheeks
runny noses, sores, sunken bellies
or simply a need to protect their failures with lies.
Can love of mankind make you a poet, a philosopher,
a sage so deeply committed to prophecy
your life turns golden as you speak
your hopelessly human habits turning to divine?
It is important to have one good face,
one good attitude you can count on for most occasions.
Any lawyer you hire can re-invent you,
can find the best way to present you.
You need to love the things you love at home,
stay indoors near a soft light,
closely watch your rooms,
know you can conjure up anyone if you think about it.
You suspect there may be dancing soon,
the dining room chairs will multiply, many more guests will be arriving,
though some may run away after ringing your doorbell laughing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


 susan ambrosino

You're looking for just the right color,
once it was mustard, then chartreuse, now baby blue swirling
in a warm brown chocolate that looks like
it's just about to melt,
but anything you think someone will want to touch,
or feels like April or looks like September,
especially if it happens to be January,
a floating fabric of simmering silk reflecting the emptiness,
wrapping the emptiness, gathering it in, covering it up.
It began with the earth, the roaming, the daily roaming,
plucking berries, seeds, digging deep,
eyes constantly looking, always hungry,
yes, the hunger was so necessary,
remaining close to the earth, remaining behind,
left by the men who hunt…..there it's been said,
devising a way for permanence, importance, stacking, nesting, storage,
let's go fill the apple basket so we can eat,
shoes, high heels, low heels, the new baby doll shoe, so cute,
whoever finds the best apples gets the best meat.
You'll take that sweater in all the colors it comes in.


 susan ambrosino

the fact of the matter is
if a cavity in your tooth needed filling
when you were 19
you had it done and paid the bill.
you didn’t have dental insurance
or any kind of insurance
didn’t have any of those sweet comforts
of middle age:
the upper income numbing pillows
of health insurance
life insurance
financial assurance
house insurance
gift unearned insurance.
if you sneezed there was no one to say God bless you
no my prayers are with you murmurs
were whispered
into your sleeping tucked-in face.
you were alone with the dust
in the corners of your rented room
something you would only casually notice
as you raced off eager
for anything that might come your way.
if you tore your only pair
of cool bell-bottom blue jeans
you threaded your one sewing needle
with a piece of thread
from the one dusty spool
you kept for emergencies
in a shoebox with some band-aides
a screwdriver and jumper cables
on a shelf near some paperback novels
dealing with philosophical issues
you were too young to understand.
ha ! what a combination !
jumper cables with philosophical novels.
not in the trunk of your Volkswagen Bug
where they might come in handy
some cold rainy night
on a dark curvy road without guardrails.
you never needed those jumper cables anyway
and you can’t remember
the titles of those books
and if you had been asked
so what are your goals ?
by a stranger on a Tuesday night in January 1970
in an amber lit bar on a quiet street
in a dreary river town in upstate New York
after it had snowed a mixture of mostly ice
and freezing rain all day
you would have answered with some more questions:
goals ?
what do you mean ?
what are those ?


 susan ambrosino

it could be your son out there
the son you still persist in believing
belongs to you
but doesn’t anymore.
when he was growing up
you were totally engrossed
in the delusion that you owned him.
he was totally engrossed
in who he was.
that could be him out there¾
that young man so brave
and you’re sure so scared
but ready to die in the dust for the things
older men say he must die for.
does he know
it was you that sent him there ?
does he know
it was you
who relinquished his power ?
you sent him out to the barren desert sun
and many others like him
the innocent
the young
because who among your older men
possess the cavalier arrogance
of your young ?
who among your older men
still believe they are indestructible ?

Friday, January 7, 2011


 susan ambrosino

When you're one person, one single woman,
having raised the accomplishment of yourself
to reach the age of fifty-nine still intact,
healthy, fit and never been arrested
finding yourself walking alone
feeling truly alone
looking at it all
from a place you're taller than,

you've become the glint of sun on a plane's wing
you're proudly aloft at the head of your class,
you're enjoying your own private surprise party,
attended by you and only you,
you're draped in communion white,
your hair has never been cut, and you know
if you let it down
you would never touch the ground again.


 susan ambrosino

You wake with a sentence engraved across
your forehead, it's a different one each day, a message or an omen,
an incarnation into Englishable understanding from somewhere unknown;
no wonder so many people mistake this for prophesy,
they think God speaks to them.
Five military planes flew over your house
as you laid in bed staring out the window thinking
about your morning sentence,
or was it the same plane circling five times, you can't know,
the sky overhead is too big for you to see where anything
is coming from, or going to.
The schools are growing opponents for future wars,
kindergarten teaches colors as opposites,
green can't sit beside orange, purple doesn't play with yellow, black
isn't white, we can never be comfortable, the fit isn't right.
Looking from your bedroom window you see a silvered cat catch
a small animal in its teeth and run off with it
between the Liriope and the Coreopsis,
its tortured last moments ending as you stare in disbelief.