Crossing Bryant Park Susan Robertson (1943 –1997)

by Hugh Seidman

Rink down up last fall mirroring summer.
1200 steps to work Seventh to Madison.

First, past 50 your bridal two step.
New, wet grass invoking tomb.


Father: suicide; Mother: survivor; Sister: fatal breast.
Tai chi fighter, shrink, scholarship Bryn Mawr waif.

Lungs sicker than said or known.
Small talk then you were gone.


10,000 years ago: not statue, urn, stone.
10,000 years ago: sexual proof of lives.

Left you that August who shall say why ?
Hammocked dozer; oil slick lake rainbow.


10,000 years ago: hope oldest karma.
10,000 years ago: friends forever.

Also noduled, cut out womb.
Transfusion, perhaps, the future tumor root.


High heeled graduates’ pale lilies, arterial roses.
Memoir of the body 10,000 years ago.

Heard your name, as if called.
Neurons that will not be annulled.

Nothing to do but abhor the wind.
Implored the immortals for solace.

Obscene Brigitte: vulva peppers, black rooster.
Red tongued Kali: lei of heads, corpse trampler.


Reached at last furnace blast.
A few pounds of dust, ash, bone.

Carbon tundra turning under suns.
Born to your planet less than a grass pebble.