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Winter 2017 Poetry Contest Winner: Susan Richardson

SusanRichardsonSusan Richardson is living, writing and going blind in Los Angeles. She shares a home with an Irishman, 2 pugs and 2 cats. She was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in 2002, and in addition to poetry also writes a blog called Stories from the Edge of Blindness. Her work has most recently been published in, Wildflower Muse, The Furious Gazelle, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na- Gig, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Foxglove Journal and Sick Lit Magazine.


There is a third world city down the street
and worlds away from my apartment.
I lurk inside the spaces between
shadows, listening to violence
explode in angry rhymes,
a figure eight of loathing that
skulks over scars in the pavement.
Next door lives beauty,
radiant in baggy briefs and
carrying a sawed off shot gun.
There is a man upstairs beating his wife.
A woman below throws
kitchen appliances at her girlfriend.
I am alone in a makeshift kitchen
slowly stirring lentils and
longing for the soothing
taste of silence.

Child of Fire

Traces of your blazing ankles
charge into my memory,
the way orange occurs in nature,
with bold strokes and trickery.
You are beauty burned and flickering,
like the marigolds that patrolled
the back walk of our childhood home.

You were always five paces ahead, daring
me to follow the cinders of your skirt.
I ran toward the illusion of friendship,
your incendiary steps lighting the path.
I longed to cast off my costume of rags
and emerge as a younger replica of you.

I stumbled behind the embers of your shadow,
but time turned the filaments of childhood
to ash and the road ahead of us broke.
We stood together on the precipice.
You showed me the scars littered across
your wrists, and offered me the delicate bones
of your fingers in a gesture of comradery.

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