At the Moment

By Joyce Sutphen b. 1949 Joyce Sutphen
Suddenly, I stopped thinking about Love,
after so many years of only that,
after thinking that nothing else mattered.

And what was I thinking of when I stopped
thinking about Love? Death, of course—what else
could take Love’s place? What else could hold such force?

I thought about how far away Death once
had seemed, how unexpected that it could
happen to someone I knew quite well,

how impossible that this should be the
normal thing, as natural as frost and
winter. I thought about the way we’d aged,

how skin fell into wrinkles, how eyes grew
dim; then (of course) my love, I thought of you.

“At the Moment” from Naming the Stars by Joyce Sutphen. © 2004 by Joyce Sutphen. Used by permission of Joyce Sutphen and the publisher, Holy Cow! Press.

Source: Naming the Stars (Holy Cow! Press, 2004)

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Poet Joyce Sutphen b. 1949

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Growing Old, Living, Death

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Joyce  Sutphen

Biography

Joyce Sutphen grew up on a farm in Minnesota. She earned a PhD in Renaissance drama from the University of Minnesota, and has taught British literature and creative writing at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota. Her first collection of poems, Straight Out of View (1995), won the Barnard Women’s Poets Prize. Subsequent collections include Coming Back to the Body (2000), a Minnesota Book Award finalist, Naming the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Growing Old, Living, Death

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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