Poetry - Issue 01 | November 2008

Four Poems by Sue Standing


Journey (Aigues-Mortes)

Outside history, outside the word hoard,
we met near the wild dunes and the cyclops
of the lighthouse, among mounds of salt
evaporated from the flat pans of the étangs.

Centuries ago, at the tower of Constance,
such salt was poured over the bodies
piled on bodies, to preserve them,
heretic, until they could be buried.

Everywhere we went, we left a residue.
For years, we walked the ley lines
of neolithic menhirs, Viking passage tombs,
Roman walls that cut the width of England.

Now, at the center of this perfect grid
of ramparts, I plaster over the past
with borrowed tools, efface the room
in which we ate and slept and loved.

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About the author

Sue Standing, featured poet in Issue 1, permanently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but travels as much as she can. She has been awarded a Pushcart Prize for her short story, “Fast Sunday,” grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bunting Institute, and is currently on a Fulbright Research Scholarship at the University of Toulouse in France. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and literary magazines, including Agni, The American Poetry Review, American Scholar, The Atlantic Monthly, Denver Quarterly, The Iowa Review, The Nation, Ploughshares, and Southwest Review.  Her poems appear in several anthologies, including Conversation Pieces: Poems that Talk to Other Poems,  Deep Travel: Contemporary American Poets Abroad, and The Poetry of Solitude: A Tribute to Edward Hopper. She teaches creative writing and African literature at Wheaton College, in Norton, Massachusetts. Her most recent collection of poems is False Horizon (Four Way Books, 2003).

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