Susan Donnelly: “Ceiling Fan”


Five blades on the ceiling fan

yet always one you don’t see,

even when the blades are still.

Staring upwards these past nights,

I wonder what it is about the fan

or the light through the drawn shade

or my eyes that keeps, always,

one blade in shadow.  I am trying

to know that my brother’s child

—a grown man, but his child—

is dead.  That he’s gone from us,

and not anywhere anymore.

To his father he must be everywhere—

in every thought, every room.

I lie here thinking, counting the fan.

Susan Donnelly’s newest publication is a chapbook, The Finding Day, from Every Other Thursday Press. She is the author of the full collections Eve Names the Animals, Transit, and Capture the Flag, as well as five other chapbooks. Widely published in journals, anthologies and textbooks, her poetry also appears on several websites and blogs. Donnelly lives, writes, and conducts poetry classes and individual consultations in Arlington, Massachusetts.

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