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Inclement Sonnet

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by Susanna Childress

Tell me snow is falling on the willows now, fat, full, unhurried,
for my strawberry-haired nephew sleeps, his body beneath
a blanket knit brilliantly blue, his body wilted with
neuroblastoma, and here on the couch, I hold his head

and wonder at what’s sent from above, what we’d
believe drifts down during these months of ice, so far north
we need Easter to end winter for us—not Eostre, Teutonic myth,
vernal equinox, not eggs, red-iris bunnies, beribboned

sweets. Tell me what comes next: tires spinning, marrow
aspirating, gladiolus whispering when, when, Wednesday
ashing our brows and, for each, some coruscating stretch, most

Fridays not so good after all. Last week he told his mum, I get a new
body if I go to heaven.
Tell me it’s coming soon, Pascha Sunday,
that, as they lift, our arms will ache, will awaken, with all we’ve lost.

Susanna Childress’s second book of poems, Entering the House of Awe, was awarded the 2012 Poetry Prize from the Society of Midland Authors. She teaches at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and is the poetry editor for Perspectives.
Susanna Childress

Susanna Childress

Susanna Childress has published two books of poetry and has a book of lyric essays and fragments titled Extremely Yours forthcoming from Awst Press. She teaches at Hope College and lives near the western shore of Lake Michigan with her partner Joshua Banner, two dogs, and three children.