Susan Donnelly: “California Chiaroscuro”




His room must be dark for the photo,
the child explains. That way
the fire sky will show best—scary
but kind of beautiful, too,
coming in through the slits
above the blind. It’s burning
all down the coast, that fire,
crossing the Bay, even coming close
to where they live. He’s not afraid,
exactly. The homey lamp on his desk—
the only other light—will look good, too.
It shows him straight as a candle,
pen in hand, with concentrating face,
about to make his mark upon the page.



Susan Donnelly is the author of four poetry collections, most recently The Maureen Papers and Other Poems, and six chapbooks. She lives, writes, and teaches poetry in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents | Next Page