susan rooke

Overseas Airmail, 1965

My words scratched lightly
on thin-skinned paper, folded
twice, slipped into translucent
envelopes impressed with airplanes

and stamps of foreign generals,
their portraits stern, their eyes
far-seeing, all the way across
the Pacific Ocean to those I’d left

behind, who in weeks would open
these careful letters, heavier with
distant longings than with paper,
and cast their flimsy weight aside.

Watching While the Moon Goes Out

My mother darkens
like the waning moon,
her face more shadowed

daily. All that’s left
to reflect the light
is one sharp sliver

of a cheekbone, no wider
than a crescent fingernail,
gauged by my hand held up

at arm’s length to the life
once bright and full,
then pulled away.

Susan Rooke lives in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Texas Poetry Calendar 2013, Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine, San Pedro River Review, Your Daily Poem and Halfway Down the Stairs. This is the year she will nerve herself to seek publication for the first novel of her fantasy series, The Space Between.