A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose

Susan Roney-O’Brien

teaches, reads for The Worcester Review and writes.  Her work has appeared in Yankee, Prairie Schooner, Diner, Beloit Poetry JournalRock and Sling and other magazines.

She has won the Worcester County Poetry Association Contest, the William and Kingman Page Poetry Book Award for her chapbook, Farmwife, and the New England Association of Teachers of English “Poet of the Year” award.

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And my bones being nothing—
prairie grass before fire—
kindle them
and let ash be taken up
into wind’s green hair,
be cast among clover, over
wheelruts, footprints, roofs.
May the dust I was
become the core of rain
that finally falls onto
my father’s dustbelt farmlands,
rain that comes nights in summer
to slake thirsts, rests
in scarlet-cupped cardinal flowers
on the banks of the Charles
where my mother walked
when a girl, then spills out
onto earth, seeps
through humus, sod,
flows into the current itself
and one spring morning
when you drive past
the bend in the river
and notice mist rising
from the surface,
you will know
I am.