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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Poem: 159 words
By Susan Shea


If I knew the muddy water 
was going to find its way into my 
hiking boots, soaking my socks 
making my toes wonder if 
life forms were circling them 
maybe getting ready to bite them 

I might have stayed home 
missed seeing the sudden cloudburst 
of snowflakes big as quarters 

dabbing the forest bark white 
painting the air above the lake 
so thick, all land on the other side 
disappeared with my complaints 

inviting me to feel the giant roots of 
of a warm brown tree reaching out to me 
like arms coming out of earth 
calling me in to see 
the brightest greens I’ve ever seen 
all around its devout unwavering base 

lichen illuminated, incandescence 
born of wetness into blossoms, grasses 

a garden glowing as though many suns 
were worshipping it 

the altar of the trail, speaking for the 
fog and inconvenience, telling me 
there will always be a bounty waiting 
around the bend of my disenchantment 

Susan Shea
Issue 23 (April 2024)

is a retired school psychologist who was raised in New York City, and now lives in a forest in Pennsylvania. Since third grade, she has been a poet. In the mid-1990s, she wrote poetry in her spare time, and had some poems accepted in Pudding, Plainsongs, The Pegasus Review, and others. While working with struggling children and families, Susan’s hobbies had to be gentle on her mind and heart, so she made quilts, jewelry, and rock sculptures. In some ways, she is still recovering from dealing with so much sadness for so long.

Since she returned to writing poetry last year, more than 100 of her poems have been accepted for publication by Across the Margin, The Avalon Literary Review, Ekstasis, Feminine Collective, Gastropoda, Invisible City, Litbreak Magazine, Military Experience & the Arts, Persimmon Tree, Vita Poetica, and others.

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