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poetry You Wonder if You Can Write Something

Poet Susan Browne depicts the despair of our times, a sense of hopelessness, the feeling that the future will be even worse than these dismal days.


You Wonder If You Can Write Something

By Susan Browne


that has hope in it.

Today, you read, there’s a big rush to buy

bomb shelters.

Normal people are buying them,

not just millionaires.

There is some hope in that:

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thinking life will go on after.

If you go shopping today

it won’t be for a bomb shelter

but a beautiful anything

you can find: a soft pair of socks,

a necklace that catches the light

although nothing will get your mind off

of the mass grave in Ukraine,

the jaw-bones & eye sockets,

the pregnant women running

from the destroyed maternity hospital.

Your friend said she doesn’t read the news

because what can she do, what can any of us do

to stop the butchers

because we have to be butchers

to stop them, a hopeless logic.

You could put a pear in your pocket

& pretend you have a horse to slowly feed it to.

You could build a ramshackle hut

for the dandelions before the spring wind

blows through.

 Susan Browne’s poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry, The Sun, The Southern Review, New Ohio Review, American Life in Poetry, and 180 More, Extraordinary Poems for Every Day. She has published three books of poetry: Buddha’s DogsZephyr, and Just Living. Awards include prizes from Four Way Books, the Los Angeles Poetry Festival, and the River Styx International Poetry Contest. She received a fellowship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Her third collection, Just Living, won the Catamaran Poetry Prize. She lives in Chico, CA.