Thursday, May 26, 2011


     susan ambrosino

The sense of it is always with you.
How you feel yourself extending out
From the surface of your skin
Beyond the confines of the body
Into the realm of space and time
Into the realm of what you think is god.

But it's a miracle that you need
To feel fully present in your life
A pop ! that will show you what's under the tent
Making all your thoughts irrelevant.

A shaft of light to break through the roof
As you sit complacently knitting
In your favorite chair.
Hit you square between the eyes
Or smack in the solar plexus
Changing you
Until no one recognizes you and you look
Into the mirror and see someone else who you know is you
But isn't.

Perhaps an out of body
While spreading hummus on rye crisp toast.
Suddenly your hovering near the ceiling
Watching yourself in the kitchen.

God won't go away but it doesn't come close either.
You long for it to take over your life
In a dramatic way
Like it does for saints, the selfless, the innocent,
The suffering, the dying, those who
Take upon themselves the stigmata.

Or maybe a large white bird flying into
Your house when you open the front door
Making itself at home as if it always belonged there
With your things
In your life.

Perhaps if you become fierce
Let out a low growl, or a loud bellow
Or engage that scream therapy so popular in the 70's
You'll release the latent god so long sleeping
Beneath your soft manners.

Something you can call a small miracle
With special meaning
So you will know a force beyond your skin
Has sent you a wonderful clear omen.

But god comes when it's time
Through suffering and pain
Loneliness and sorrow
Loss and more loss.
That's how it works.

First the pain, the agony, the blood
The inability to walk
Someone sticks a catheter in you
You soil yourself
People visit and look at you
Hold your hand
Doctors come and go
Come and go
Then go
Slowly away
To whisper to your family.

That's when god comes
To pick up the piece of
Your scrap of body
Minus the needs, the desires, the money.
It's just you in your hospital robe
When the shaft of light drops down
And your lifted out of body
And the sound is so loud
A fierce bellow that only you hear.
It is the body tearing apart from you
You not wanting to let go
Until you do
And there it is
And god
And more god.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


       susan ambrosino
All of it.
Don't you want to keep it all ?
Every last thing that life has to offer.
Your husband's broad grin as you
Drag him into a store to buy him clothes.
Every last bit you can take from the world.
You want to keep it all.
Your grown daughter's soft cheek
Her pensive look, her sudden smile.
You want to keep it.
Your grandbaby's fist clutching a red strawberry
Shoving it into his mouth so he can suck the juice.
You want it forever.
You son's proud stance, his loving glance toward
His wife and daughter.
No matter what you have, it's better than nothing.
Banana yellow floribunda roses.
The good, the not so good, the bad, and the awful.
Patchwork America seen from the air as you
Travel its expanse from coast to coast.
No matter what you don't have, it's still something.
That feeling that envelopes your soul while standing in
Moonlight, the stars, the vast nothingness.
The something that you know is there
Never seen.
You want life.
You want to live.
You want to continue.
What are you afraid to lose ?

Monday, May 16, 2011


            susan ambrosino
The early morning mist seemed just a fog
   Until you wished
      You had worn more clothing
         Perhaps something plastic.

Doors suck open as you walk
   Car tires rustle the damp pavement
      Garbage truck metal crushes metal
         Your walk turns to frolic down the street.

Many people don’t think
   To stop their automatic lawn sprinklers
      Though all the morning weather reports
         Declare the inevitability of rain.

Vapor dripping from trees overhead
   Clouds your eyeglass vision
      Just enough
         To soften the suburban world you move through.

You're alone
   With the one who knows everything about you
      Your private pleasures and resentments
         Your secret loves.

The one who wants what you want
   Doesn't argue
      Follows quietly
         Listens and agrees.

You always suspected your dog's love of cheese
   Would send him off a cliff for a piece of it.
      You quicken your pace
         Hurry home.

Sometimes the spirit alone goes out for a walk
   Comes back for the cheese.
      Though you come from soil and seed
         the product is far from complete.