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New Irish Voices
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Liberty Walks Naked
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Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
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Richesses

Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
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SUZANNE CLEARY

 

 

 

Suzanne Cleary won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry for her third book, Beauty Mark, published by BkMk Press in 2013. Her other prizes include a Pushcart Prize and the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America. Professor of English at the State University of New York at Rockland, she also teaches in the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program of Converse College.  She is not the Irish dancer of the same name. She is not much of a dancer.  www.suzanneclearypoet.com

 

 

3rd prize in Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition 2017

 

I Have Never Slept With an Animal

 

I have never slept with an animal, so it is

                a dream from which I wake: the small bulldog

jumping on the bed, scrumbling the sheets,

                stepping onto my face. His forepaws knead

my cheeks. His tongue dangles at my nose.

                He noses my hair. He pauses, stares.

He pants, his meaty heart close to mine, this

                short-legged, flat-faced dog

that sleep has conjured to wake me, wake me

                so I have no choice but to breathe

the doggy breath, to meet the rheumy eyes,

                brown-flecked-with-gold like the doors

on a Hepplewhite cabinet built to feature

                the wood’s grain, sprays of rings recording

years of much rain, years of little rain,

                except that this dog, emissary from the deep,

will not be still, will hide nothing from sight.

                It is warm, pulsing, demanding, demands

that I wake, I wake now, yes, now, in a new way.

 

 

 

©2017 Suzanne Cleary

 

 

Author Links

 

Poetry at Poetry Foundation

'Ring' in Verse Daily

Interview with Suzanne at Gabrielle Brant Freeman's Blog

 

 

 

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