Creative Writing at WVU: Wild, Wonderful Writing

Poems from Beauty Breaks In

Mary Ann Samyn


It Most Certainly Is Edged in White

The book of birds knew a little about a lot.

I flipped through.

No one said trying harder would be easy.

A dove’s identifying feature

may or may not be peacefulness;

disjunction had been a performance;

I stopped complaining.

Starting now, no prayer goes unanswered.


Make Them Howl or Breathe Fire

I was strung up.
I was my own angel.
Repeat: I was my own angel.
Something beeped to signal the end of mercy.
Oh well—
Weather swirled just beyond my shoulder.
Had I not been on my knees already.
Had I not grasped the concept.
God likes firm resolve.
I detest all my sins. Above all, ingratitude, the color of which pales, like my skin.


That’s the Jesus I Grew Up With

Lateral, divergent: I’m paying me a compliment.
My God had a heart-shaped heart, and a look.
I never knew what bribe was coming next.
Something was disheveled. Was it my hair
in butterfly barrettes? Was it my grown-up soul?
I led with fear, Mother and Dad; sit down.
Dusk was always the favorite, with its gorgeous regret.


When You Reach an Obstacle

Two calm thoughts in a row. Personal best.

And I owe it all to grapefruit with powdered sugar:
private remedy, going on one week.

I had longed for something straightforward
and found it—ta da!—in the form of our friend citrus.

No scurvy for me.

No faux-smarts either, thanks.
That stuff is so exhausting.

A lot of people will be headed to the emergency room
given this summer’s most popular sandals: itty bitty heel.

Can’t wear that metaphor, can’t read whatever’s written
on the wall of the poetry I can’t write.

I’m a sensible nonsensical girl, not the other way around.

Mostly, I defer to you.

In a fit of wisdom, you chose me.
What more can I say?