“little Sue from the North thinks” by Susan Bartolme

little Sue from the North thinks


crickets is the night munching on itself
and that loud bang wasn’t a gun
but a single firework
lighting up that skinny river
where no alligator lives, nope
and no snakes that somehow swim.

those alien electronic screams
aren’t those cicada things
but really just the bushes, yelling at the air
for coming on so thick
and those poor trees
with that leafy green disease
spreading inch by inch
how that must itch.

she gets upset when the lady at Starbucks
calls her baby. she’s not a baby.
but then she gets extra whip cream
without even asking.
that’s it, she thinks.
that’s the sweet secret of this place:
extra cream
but say thank you please.


Susan currently lives one hour outside of the Smokies, where she studies creative writing in the MFA program at the University of Tennessee. She walks over a river every day to get to school. 


**Featured image “Coffee with Cream at Starbucks” by Minseong Kim on Wikimedia – cropped – Creative Commons

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