Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Dandelion Saviors for the Starry Eyed


They sit on Chicago
stairsteps like pretty
trinket jars waiting
to be stolen or broken
into a thousand sorrows.
Little girls of Edison Park,
glitter roses, who have
only read the book of innocence
where wolves are tame,
and costumes don’t have
pockets filled with dark riddles,
imagine castles and gardens,
not abandoned brownstones
painted with the shadows of weeds.
Life is a grizzly bitch who teases
with ribbons and shatterproof dreams,
but carries a loaded tongue to turn
bright eyes into empty light sockets
when stars don’t fall in answered wishes.
Yet where the blackened chewing gum
mars the concrete sparkle there are angels
who carry candles for the moonless youth
who’ve been torn from fairytales.
Mentors of the psyche who have lived
their own errors open their books
of misspent and share with the anxious,
life is a tattered shirt that will take patience to mend.
 ©Susie Clevenger 2022



  1. Oh my, so much hard wisdom in this, Susie. To me, this contains the same difficult message as Ric Masten's poem at the List post: that having suffered, we become better able--and hopefully willing--to help and comfort others who are suffering in the same way. It's a club no one wants to belong to, and yet--as your poem spells out--we all gain membership in one way or another. Your poem made me cry.

  2. Susie,
    This comes from the same place as my last poem I'm thinking, but with a note of healing, of replenishment from the "mentors of the psyche," "angels who carry candles for the moonless youth" -- Oh how lovely and full of hope amongst the "thousand sorrows."

  3. Perfect last line, arrowing straight to the heart of things, and a veritable map of that almost-forgotten country(for the old) that youth must travel, and that indeed all of us still travel, whether we know it or not, all drawn with killing detail.

  4. A beautiful haunting poem, Susie. Love these lines:

    "...there are angels
    who carry candles for the moonless youth
    who’ve been torn from fairytales."