Through a Gate of Trees
by Susan Jackson
Foreword by Molly Peacock
Through a Gate of Trees is about the mental discipline it takes for a social being to insist on the difference between social bonds and being bound . . . The poems take place all over the world, yet wherever they are, the situations are domestic, and the stanzas flood with memory, with obligations, and with the dilemma of how to recognize what exists underneath the pleasant surface of things . . . —Molly Peacock
Brilliant. Beautiful. Written with wit and wisdom. The poems are sensual, serious, witty and deep. I highly recommend it. I can't praise this book enough.
—Marjory Bassett, Chair of the National Arts Club Literary Committee
Located exactly on the sharpened razor’s edge of vision ... so fine, uncompromising and exacting a gift ... —Deena Metzger
"I thought I had pierced / the world's secret language / with my broken stick," Susan Jackson writes, describing her younger self. Now the mature poet does just that in these perceptive, well crafted, and deeply felt poems. —Linda Pastan
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SUSAN JACKSON serves on the Board of Directors of Poets & Writers, Inc.,and the National Arts Club Literary Committee. Before moving to New Jersey, she lived in France, Belgium, Portugal and Holland. She has received a fellowship grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation residency grant to attend the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has been published in literary journals such as NIMROD and the Paterson Literary Review.
The Man Who Could Not Talk About the War
He grabs her arm, seizing her from sleep
at three a.m. Don’t move.
There’s someone here. Next to us.
She looks into the darkness
then again to his face, filled now
with transparency, carried back
to the jungle, to the ambush.
It’s a dream, she tells him.
We’re all right. Go back to sleep.
He sinks back to silent breathing
until suddenly he flings his arm
across her shoulder. Stay where you are, he shouts.
This place is full of mines
.Help them, help them, but she cannot
see the bodies or hear the sounds they make.
She lies in the narrowness
of one side of the bed,
touching his hand until light
seeps through the window across the contour
of the no one who is there.
Waking, he reaches for her
and turning to him she thinks
of the things that can be shared:
a table, a bed.