Martha Sutro

The Doing

The sun, having come,
has now paled the veil
and bronze, having cast,
has tinted the sumps.
 
Trees drag their flags,
bag bursts of gusts.
Plots of the land
form in, plot in.
 
What are you doing,
dead father,
orbing and steadying around,
fixing, affixing?
 
What kinning,
what vexing works you?
 
Vexer, hoarder,
retarder of upswells.
Like floe after floe
passing, your watching.
 
Barest eye of the birdbath,
plain empty,
turns away from the slipped blue
 
and clitter-clatter of the fabulous
rattling dialogue, trialogue,
puzzles the time.
 
Dead father, your wrestle,
your burnish, your tiring
tick-tock.
 
Am I tending you, father,
covering your sorrows
for the haul up ahead?
 
Might the cloudscape of you
make of me, tend somehow
to me?
 
Snow hangs somewhere, slabs
somewhere to the granites
 
and the now diffuse sun
casts iron solids of silhouettes.
 
Dead father, gone father,
now more potent, more suffuse—
delivered from my mouths,
my nettings,
my irrelevance.
 
Spread into the full bath
of your deservings, pleasure maker.
You’ll find the chaise
beachside. Now, cold now,
getting frozen.
 
 

Martha Sutro’s poetry has appeared in Çedilla arts magazine, The Slag Review, and The Round magazine. Her creative nonfiction piece “Cashing Out on the Bering Sea” was featured in Out on the Deep Blue, published by St. Martin’s Press (2001). She has an MA in English Literature from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. Martha has attended the Squaw Valley Writer’s Conference and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. A former middle and high school English teacher and undergraduate English professor, she is currently a freelance writer and editor living in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Favorite sweet: spicy ginger snaps.

 … return to Issue 12.1 Table of Contents.