Green hued sunflowers curling around a wise vase—
you gifted me your mother’s Dutch print.
And to think I considered a topographic map
in its place above my dresser.
The map housed a chasm,
a shaky line, a punishing fissure
through the Adirondacks—how magnetic,
the pull to visit a break in solid ground,
the rip in rock and mud as if it were cloth.
You thought it was ugly, décor
with no meaning, but we were having
such a lovely day—no residual bitterness,
no wine at lunch, so I agreed with you.
And it breaks my heart to write this poem
after such a lovely day.
Susan Muth is a writer originally from Burke, Virginia. She holds a BA/MA in English and world literature from the Pennsylvania State University. She is an MFA candidate at George Mason University with a focus in Creative Writing—Poetry. Her work has appeared in journals such as The Northern Virginia Review, The Poet’s Billow, As You Were: The Military Review, and others. She is the poetry editor for phoebe and recently won the 2022 Joseph A Lohman III Prize. She currently lives in Arlington, Virginia.
image: Claire Cantrell Wood, Fine Outdoors Aficionado.