Ever After

By Joyce Sutphen b. 1949 Joyce Sutphen
What am I to you now that you are no   
longer what you used to be to me?   

Who are we to each other now that   
there is no us, now that what we once   

were is divided into me and you   
who are not one but two separate and   

unrelated persons except for that ex-   
that goes in front of the words   

that used to mean me, used to mean   
you, words we rarely used (husband, wife)   

as when we once posed (so young and helpless)   
with our hands (yours, mine) clasped on the knife   

that was sinking into the tall white cake.   
All that sweetness, the layers of one thing

and then another, and then one thing again.

Source: Poetry (February 2003).

 Joyce  Sutphen


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 Home Life, Relationships, Living, Separation & Divorce, Men & Women

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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