On Our Eleventh Anniversary

By Susan Browne Susan Browne
You're telling that story again about your childhood,   
when you were five years old and rode your blue bicycle   

from Copenhagen to Espergaerde, and it was night   
and snowing by the time you arrived,   

and your grandparents were so relieved to see you,   
because all day no one knew where you were,   

you had vanished. We sit at our patio table under a faded green   
umbrella, drinking wine in California's blue autumn,   

red stars of roses along the fence, trellising over the roof   
of our ramshackle garage. Too soon the wine glasses will be empty,   

our stories told, the house covered with pine needles the wind   
has shaken from the trees. Other people will live here.   

We will vanish like children who traveled far in the dark,   
stars of snow in their hair, riding to enchanted Espergaerde.

Poem copyright ©2007 by Susan Browne. Poem reprinted from Mississippi Review Vol. 35, nos. 1-2, Spring 2007, and reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Susan Browne


Subjects Living, Youth, Relationships, Activities, Eating & Drinking

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse


Born in Long Beach, California, poet Susan Browne earned a BA at California State University and an MA at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is the author of the poetry collections Buddha’s Dogs (2004), which was chosen for the Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry by poet Edward Hirsch, and Zephyr (2010). Her poetry has been featured in the anthologies 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day (2005) and Ordinary Genius: . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poems by Susan Browne

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Youth, Relationships, Activities, Eating & Drinking


Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.