Tim Suermondt

Spotlight: Snow and Snow / For the Persians / Waiting With the Squirrels


It keeps showing up like a complaint
no one has an answer for.

And as it does the flimsy tarps
surrounding the apartment under

construction flap like specters who see
no way out, pitiful in their hopelessness.

A few dogs leap in the whiteness,
their owners looking grim as soldiers

at Stalingrad while I hunker in the study,
a hermit lately every day, every night.


+++++I’ve spent my whole life being patient.
+++++I’ll need another life to reap the fruits.

My determination comes late at night—

++I wake my wife, who looks at me

Groggily but beautifully—

++“The hell with it,” I say,

“I’m not being patient anymore.”

++My wife props herself up—

“When exactly have you ever been patient?”

++“Go back to sleep,” I say,

“I’ll confuse you again in the morning.”


We’re all set to discover the golden acorns
under the slush of snow, like seeing out of a mist
an Eldorado rise. Yet again those nuts
will more closely resemble the standard fare
of a cheap Burger Shack along a bad tourist beach—
but they’ll be serviceable and keep us alive,
help us appreciate the yellow of the flowers
in the yellow of the sun, in the fields and cities.
For some they’ll be racing up trees, carrying
the goods to the highest branches—for others
squarely on the ground will have to do, feet under
the outdoor tables and the clear blue sky shining
like it never went away, pleased to have us back.

Tim SuermondtTim Suermondt is the author of two full-length collections: TRYING TO HELP THE ELEPHANT MAN DANCE (The Backwaters Press, 2007), and JUST BEAUTIFUL (New York Quarterly Books, 2010). He has published poems in Poetry, The Georgia Review, Blackbird, Able Muse, Prairie Schooner, PANK, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine (UK), and has poems forthcoming in december magazine, Plume Poetry Journal, North Dakota Quarterly, and Ploughshares. After many years in Queens and Brooklyn, he has moved to Cambridge with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong. Contact him at allampoet[at]earthlink.net

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