Susan Gillis


I was publicly accused
of spitting on a lily,
transforming it to a pomegranate.

I was accused of living
in a crumbling near-ruin
occupied by squatters.

I was held
to be deliberately wakeful,
anxious, obstreperous and sad.

I was admonished
for saying frankly, without adornment,
the wind is gutsy, and from the south west.

I was empty, filled
with trivia, styling tips,
storage hacks, must-haves and to-dos.

A baby, gurgling
at fine people in graceful parks
on a toile de jouy sofa.

Could there have been
a sunlit hallway,
a rolling ball?

Could there have been a child
scolding a sister
in the canned vegetable aisle?

Sweet damaged friend,
your ankles are like my ankles,
bone to bone to bone.

What I would do
with a lot of money
I would do with a lot of time.


Susan Gillis’s work has appeared recently in Sheila-Na-Gig Online and is forthcoming in Juniper and Arc. Her most recent collection, Yellow Crane (2018), was a finalist for the ASLE Creative Writing Book Prize and a Jury Selection in the Grand prix du livre de Montréal. She’s a member of the collaborative poetry group Yoko’s Dogs and work as an editor and mentor.