Reading Saint John of the Cross

By Susan Kelly-DeWitt Susan Kelly-DeWitt
How many miles to the border
where all the sky there is
exists for the soul alone?

Where the only breathers
breathing are constructed
from some new electricity
and the flowers are made
indestructible, and messages
from the dead arrive like calm
white birds with a gift?

One more night of spiritual
ice and we might all become
birds, green birds frozen
on a black winter branch.

There is a drumming in the shadows
under leaves: a million eight-eyed
spiders on the march.

The buckeyes beat themselves
half to death against
some lit-from-within screen.

Source: Poetry (February 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the February 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2010
 Susan  Kelly-DeWitt


Susan Kelly-DeWitt is the author of The Fortunate Islands (Markick Press, 2008).  She is also a contributing editor for Poetry Flash, a reviewer for Library Journal, and a blogger for Coal Hill Review.

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Poems by Susan Kelly-DeWitt

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Religion, God & the Divine, Christianity

Poetic Terms Allusion, Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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