Knives and Guns and Wagging Tongues

Wendy Goddard shares her powerful, intensely personal take on mental illness.


The Longest Day

by Suzannah Gilman

The Univ. of Arizona Poetry Center presented poetry prompts at the opening of their new building in 2007.  This was mine:  “Include in your poem one or more of the following: rope, hands, a rubber band, a legal document, corn starch, and a promise.”  No problem. 


It seems so clear—
suddenly? (after twenty-odd years)—
we should not have held hands
on that sticky June morn,
cornstarch sprinkled under our arms,
summer solstice,
June twenty-first.
Now it hurts
to know
(last week you told me on the phone)
the promise we made that day
was all that kept you with me,
hurts like the sting of a rubber band,
over and over again.
This much I know:
dissolution is a good thing
and I’d divorce you again tomorrow,
blessed sunset on the longest day.


mother of 4

I emerged the very loved and fulfilled mother of these four people, so my years were not spent in vain.