Poets Read

Poets Read: Suzanne S. Rancourt

We are pleased to offer our Poets Read series in honor of National Poetry Month 2019 and will run it throughout the month of April. 

Every day in April, our website and our YouTube channel will feature the voice of a poet whose work has appeared in our pages over the past year. On Sundays, we will offer two poets for your enjoyment. 

Today’s poem is Cleaning Drawers by Suzanne S. Rancourt and it appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of Gyroscope Review.

Cleaning Drawers
by Suzanne S. Rancourt


How many pair of underpants does a woman need?
Is more than a hundred too many? 

Filigree of fancy or fantasy 
of spidery vine delicate touch
a role-playing moment of pleasure
to be wanted for the right reasons

Blueberry print thongs of spandex and microfiber 
the blue of childhood
a first job in the endless fields across ledge outcrops
blueberries
our bodies browned - sun rise to sun set
August heat 
wind streaked our flesh with adolescences 
like thunder’s voluptuous raindrops sliding across the windshield
smearing bug guts 
knees banging stick shifts
deft fingers on zippers

White cotton crotch dainty dance in Cuba 
and Saint John and the fabric breathes
lightning rhythms 
stains of blood on blood browned copper
from excessive bleach and hot dryers
iron made solid and stern

Did I wear these 
the day molten blood erupted from my creviced thighs
and flood its burning gush through 
layers of crisp whites to my knees
making women gasp in the wooden bathroom stalls
between cool white porcelain and cracked mirrors?

Tangerine, purple, turquoise thongs 
worn through miles of rowing, literally
tons of leg presses, dips, and flies 
hours of hard full body sparring, thousands 
of leg lifts, sit ups, pull ups
marching   marching   marching
designated grannie panties 
pragmatic in their ability to hold up panty hose 
when worn on the outside
under Dress Greens 
or when suits are required for job interviews 
and other various career failures -
there are the favorites worn 
to entice the few 
I loved

There was no cleaning my uterus enough
so I had it removed

A drawer full of stains I no longer wear
because I’ve given up trying to be clean
trying to be that young and innocent again
I’m tainted with this concept of revelry 
in the notion 
that no underwear is best 
when a sea breeze flutters about the hem 
of the blue dress with turquoise salamanders and Kokopellis 
brush with god
a twist of sweet grass

Semen soaked cotton crotch panties burn brightest 
in the backyard fire pit at equinoctial midnight
brighter 
than Venus as Morning Star

About the Poet: Suzanne S. Rancourt is Abenaki/Huron descent from West Central Maine, residing in the Adirondack Mountains, New York. Her work appears in Grey Borders Magazine, Exposition Review, Big Pond Rumours, Women Speak-Women of Appalachia Project, Tiny Flames Press, Quiddity, River Heron Review, Shaking the Sheets, The Gyroscope Review, theSame, Young Ravens Literary Review # 8, Tupelo Press Native Voices Anthology, Bright Hill Press 25th Anniversary Anthology, Dawnland Voices 2.0 #4, Northern New England Review, Bear Review, Three Drops Press, Snapdragon Journal, mgversion2>datura, Sirsee, Slipstream, Collections of Poetry and Prose, Muddy River Poetry Review, Ginosko, Journal of Military Experience, Cimarron Review, Callaloo. Billboard in the Clouds received the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award. murmurs at the gate, forthcoming Unsolicited Press, May 2019. She is a USMC and Army veteran and continues to serve as a Mentor for the Saratoga County Veterans’ Peer to Peer program.