Susan Rich

Hello, July 5th!
June 24, 2022 Rich Susan

Hello, July 5th!


The morning is full of embarrassed flowers
lost in maritime light—
friends to the man on my street
who sweeps the sidewalk with an imaginary broom.
I hear the howl of the huskies next door,
the gunfire of the beachcombers, the madness
of the kitchen clock calculating the minutes
for a sockeye salmon or the secondhand arm
working itself up to the unknown half-second
of my death. Thanks, kitchen clock!


By the fireplace and under the stairs,
there’s shingles to look forward to
and the demise of supporting beams—
decades of repair and replace.
How does it feel to play cancer roulette
on the accordion of time?
Better to burn-up the past, except
for aunt molly as she cursed
perfection—the search for the favorite shade
of the favorite color, or man, or love seat.


Hello July 5th! Let’s sing down 60th Avenue.
Hipsway to sexy tunes only we can hear.
Hello summer of 2021! Hello! Hello! There’s cash enough
for organic salads and orgasms with the organ grinder’s
left-hand man. And why not?
It’s not madness to make such proclamations.
or, for that matter, to waltz with a potted plant.
No need to be embarrassed.
The fog is lifting her layered skirts,
slowly making her way from the tidal demands of the sea.


How else to live except by reanimating joy
the way the wind sways the plumtree’s branches,
the way the sugar ants barge in, wanted or not.
The way the shingle outside my house swings.
Hello, Lovelies—the happiness agent is in.

Susan Rich is the author of five books of poetry. Her most recent is BLUE ATLAS (Red Hen Press). Her awards include a PEN USA Award, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Times Literary Supplement Award. Rich’s poems have appeared in the Antioch Review, New England Review, O Magazine, Image Journal, and elsewhere.