Suzanne Marie Hopcroft


Moving houses was no small hill
to climb: the ground a bog, the sky
alternating between soaked towel and  

white flag of chagrin, sad to have
muddied our boots. The hydrangeas  

wanted a trestle; the mailbox wanted
a can of paint – orange, we said,
maybe, like the dawn we could see
and the nightfall we couldn’t, the end
of days hiding behind the firs and

the bulk of the neighbor’s house.
Every dusk its shadows lurked more
craftily until I couldn’t stand them,

wanted so much to watch the sun
melt and its guts seep slowly out

above the back yard that next to a
cup of tea, book slipping insistently
from my lap, I dozed and dreamt of

taking a sledgehammer to the new
wall, battering through prints and

plaster to a channel of almost night,
one more outline pressing dim and
plain against the fenced-in trees.

And When What We Knew Did Not Devour Us

Train conductors everywhere, and
my hair in is ropes.

This word-binder well
enough approaches a stylus,
putters day in and out along

the same bough-arched way

where our mothers liked
to hitch verbs to
nonsense. They, ten and

I, wearied
and arguably morose—yet 
the mad libs remain, 
outstaying us.

What to do when the half-
forgotten apple of our 
beyondness is not 
an engine, 

is not churning valiantly,

along? I eat sorrow as danger
ebbs, see

a new coil of it unfurl
now to let go the crowd
of everyone who will not be
me: warnings run

aground, gasping on
a wide and verdant shore.


Suzanne Marie Hopcroft

<em>Edit Poetry</em> Suzanne Marie Hopcroft

Suzanne Marie Hopcroft's poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Harpur Palate, The Carolina Quarterly, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Nashville Review, and Southern Humanities Review. This fall, Suzanne is starting her MFA in poetry at The University of California, Irvine.