Susan Donnelly: "Who Would True Valour See"




         —hymn by John Bunyan


After the laborious shower,

made longer since she fell

and her fragile bones splintered

(she praises the warm water

over and over), after helping,

half lifting her out, enfolding her

in a soft, new-laundered towel,

shaking on, somewhat clumsily,

powder and cologne, he settles her

in sunlight in the wheelchair,

with a jar of rose-scented hand cream

so she can do something herself now

—she needs that—and she smooths

and turns her now-translucent hands,

keeps watch on the new bird feeder,

while he goes off to make breakfast.



Susan Donnelly’s  latest poetry collection is Capture the Flag,. She is the author of two other books: Eve Names the Animals and Transit, as well as three chapbooks. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Ireland Review, and many other journals, textbooks and anthologies.