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Get ready to hear from northern Illinois’ “prose pros." Poetically Yours airs Fridays during Here and Now at 12:31 and All Things Considered at 6:18 p.m. Hosted by WNIJ Arts Reporter Yvonne Boose, you will hear voices from northern Illinois poets as they share their words about the world around them. This weekly segment will give you a moment of pause and reflection as your wind down the week. If you would like to submit a poem for consideration, please send submissions to yboose@niu.edu

Poetically Yours Ep. 56 - In Memory Of Mother

Provided by Suzannah Walter

Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. This week’s segment features Suzannah Walter.

Walter is a former Montessori teacher of 24 years and now spends her days writing poetry, songs and essays. She’s surrounded by literature at her Prairie Fox Books part-time job. Much of her work is influenced by her childhood years on the family farm. Walter lives with her husband, children and their dog, Lakota in Ottawa, Illinois.

Today she is sharing her poem “Good Grief.”

You appear in fits and flashes

around the edges of my everyday

like the velvet wings of a butterfly

against my cheek, followed by

a laugh, some praise, a wink

a remember when she did the thing

no one else would do,

could do,

will ever do,


you appear like a streak of sunshine

from behind passing clouds

greater than you ever were in life

worshipped by the people

closest to you

who thought they knew you so well

discovering you were human

only after you were dead

and realizing, even that, is a half truth

because trying to understand our own selves

leaves us baffled

on occasion, rarer now

a visit, when I am truly alone

an inkling in the gut

riding on tides of guilt and remorse

to the heart, that shatters

up, up, and up

where longing and sorrow

wrap their barbed wire around my throat


offing the circulation to the brain

until all that love and gratitude and forgiveness

rushes out

my eyes,

my nose,

cries that will surely steal my breath

and kill me

but they don’t

and I float, eyes closed

until I can feel the sun upon my face

there are buds on the trees and lilacs in the air

and when I sing out to the mockingbird

she calls back

recognizing me

so small, on this massive earth

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.