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Cheryl Denise

Cheryl Denise is the author of two poetry books, I Saw God Dancing, and What’s in the Blood, both published by Cascadia Publishing House. She also has a spoken word poetry CD called “Leaving Eden” available at Visit her on Facebook at “Cheryl Denise, Poet.”

What Sustains Me

The long line of horse-and-buggies
that clip-clop to church Sunday mornings
sound like tree frogs on the hillside.

Red-tails riding thermals
while four poets on the porch hone their craft.

Mom’s bearhug and laughter when I was a girl,
when I asked why Grandpa, who was normally happy,
yelled when he preached, madly shaking his fist.

The bright pompoms tying the black shawls
of Old Order women, that one autumn
when they were allowed a dollop of color:
lime green, Macintosh red,
orange, fuchsia and turquoise.

An old dog asleep in a sunbeam.

The Indian tribe that says all creation stories are true.

The bearded man who says many creation stories
start with revenge, battles and poison,
but ours starts with a word, a breath.

The Egyptian prof who buys a lamb to remember
Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son.
He chooses our best,
binds the lamb’s legs with electrical tape,
gently heaves him into the trunk of his BMW.

Early morning fog rolling off the pond.

My husband who turns the sanctuary into a woodshop
helps us build houses for barred owls.

My 104-year old Grandma
in her apartment
singing hymns.
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