Suzanne O'Connell | Poet

Sepia Tones

Even when pushing through mountains

with a rusty drill bit,

some children, like dogs,

don’t complain.


“I pay the bills around here,” he said.

I watched his breath go in and out.

His breath vibrated in sepia tones.

I thought about his death so many hours.


“I’ll give you something to cry about,” he said

as a splinter entered my heart.

His thick fingers tapped the adding machine

and his anger bumped into the furniture.


I hid behind the couch,

my membranes silent, my eyes closed,

concealed from the words that

sizzled around me like bullets.


I thought about his death so many hours.

Now that he’s finally gone,

I want him back.

I want to complain to his face,

like a fierce dog on a chain.



Poet Lore

Fall, 2016