Plum light unfolded

between the dense brush

of my backyard

the morning

of the day

dad died.

The night before,

he refused

even one mouthful

of lemon meringue pie.

Words were stones

and old stories

were one-sided

casting an umbra

of gray-green.

That’s how I knew.


The outline of morning

broke the uneasy sleep

that formed between the memory

of years of tart pie

and seasons of losing

dad in the thickets

of dementia.

The sunrise’s glamour

that day glittered

off the world

in all its weightiness.

Shallow puddles

from a thundershower spread

across the thirsty dirt.

And the only hunger

that day

inched forward

between the ticks

of the clock.


by Teresa Sutton

Teresa Sutton is a poet and a teacher. She has taught at Marist College for ten years and high school English for 28 years. She lives in Poughkeepsie, NY and has two grown children. Her poems appear in a number of literary journals including Stone Canoe, Fourteen Hills, and Solstice. Her second chapbook, “Ossory Wolves,” was a finalist in the 2014 Bright Hill Press’ Poetry Chapbook Competition. Sutton’s third chapbook, “Breaking Newton’s Laws,” won first place in the Encircle Publication 2017 Chapbook Competition; it was a top-12 finalist in the 2015 Indian Paintbrush Chapbook Competition, a finalist in the 2016 Minerva Rising Chapbook Competition, and earned an honorable mention in the 2015 Concrete Wolf Poetry Chapbook Competition. One of the poems in the collection, “Dementia,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The final poem of the book, “Confiteor 2,” was honored with second prize in the 2018 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry by Alternating Current. The Poet’s Billow recognized her work as a finalist in the 2015 Pangaea Prize and a semi-finalist in the 2014 Atlantis Award. The Cultural Center of Cape Cod recognized her work as a finalist in their 2014 National Poetry Competition. Two of her poems won honorable mention in other poetry competitions: Whispering Prairie Press and California State Poetry Society. Sutton earned her MFA from Solstice Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College. She has a MA in literature from Western Connecticut State University and a MS in education from SUNY New Paltz. She earned her BA in English from SUNY Albany.

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