The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Susan Yount’s “House on Fire”


Father Was a Hard Man

With windows rolled all-the-way
down and his motor-oiled hands
slapped around the steering wheel,
he drove slow over potholes.
His need-a-shave chin scratched my face
when I went with father from hayfield
to hayfield following my sister
on the Massy Ferguson.
She pulled the round bailer—
and we dragged the rake.

Pressed against father’s grisly body,
I was always hot & excited
to make it to the field
where I would be reunited
with my sister. Together,
we spun ‘round fields tossing-up
dusty wind-rolls of orchard grass.

We always ate
our peanut butter sandwiches.
We always drank
our frozen milk-jug of water.
He always came back at dark.
When we made it home,
I always packed
my Barbie doll case.

Dreamed of crawling out the window.

This selection comes from Susan Yount’s poetry chapbook House on Fire, available from Blood Pudding Press. Purchase your copy here!

Susan Yount is the Editor and Publisher of Arsenic Lobster, works full time at the Associated Press, teaches online workshops at the Rooster Moans and is the founder of Misty Publications. She recently earned her MFA in poetry at Columbia College in Chicago while working full time and raising her son. Her poetry has recently appeared in several print and online magazines including Roar, Jet Fuel Review, Booth Journal and Menacing Hedge. Susan is a 2003 recipient of The Lynda Hull Memorial Scholarship in Poetry and in 2010 she was awarded first prize in the 16th Annual Juried Reading competition at The Poetry Center of Chicago. In her spare (!) time she moonlights as madam for the Chicago Poetry Bordello. Her first poetry chapbook is the sequel to this one, Catastrophe Theory, and can be found at Hyacinth Girl Press.

Andrew Koch’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Bluestem, Connotation Press, Mojo, Rust + Moth, and others. Although a Tennessee-native, Andrew presently lives in Spokane, Washington with his wife and cat while teaching literature and pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University.


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