Suzanne O'Connell


All I can think of is tumors.
Last week there was a blood moon eclipse.
I walked her dog through Farnsworth Park. 
Marcel sniffed the grass while 
I stared at the malignancy,
hanging in all its blood glory
from the ligaments of the sky.
Next to the path,
the basketball guys were hooping,
yelling shit at each other.
On our right,
a gopher stuck a tiny face
out his porthole.
I stepped over cracked concrete
for luck.
On the hill,
a violinist practiced.
Under the gazebo,
someone was starting a BBQ.
Simple balloons hung over 
the picnic table,
toys filled with air, not poisoned cells. 
They weighed next to nothing,
yet their cheerfulness 
nearly crushed me.

Suzanne O'Connell's recently published work can be found in North American Review, Poet Lore, The Menacing Hedge, Steam Ticket, American Chordata, Typishly, and Forge. O'Connell was nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and received Honorable Mention in the Steve Kowit Poetry Prize, 2019. Her two poetry collections, A Prayer For Torn Stockings and What Luck were published by Garden Oak Press.