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Poetry by Susan Davis

Domestic Expectations

by Susan Davis

When the house is built
the workmen grade away
sand and stone. They lay
foundations in the dirt.

There will be an area
where clothes are washed,
sorted into black and red piles.
In the fall, just before

it’s too cold to eat outside,
the Mormon girls will
throw a bridal shower
and the mom will come

home to condoms and
panties hung from
the bougainvillea strung
with lights. Just

fifteen minutes, they say,
and it goes from sin to
something required.  A red
foil twirl hangs in a tree

and teases the room
with a random police-flash
so we don’t forget the party
or the soon-to-come

fifteen minutes.

Susan Davis

Susan Davis teaches and coordinates undergraduate creative writing at the University of California, Irvine. Her poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Pequod and Cincinatti Review. In November, a new Dallas-Fort Worth transit station will dedicate the art installation in which her poem “Farm Days” appears. She has two daughters.

We Know

by Susan Davis

Back from the stairwells and bedroom doors of Philadelphia,
our friend wants to have a child with a man who has his own partner.
How can it work?
O, could we go back, she says, knowing what we know now!
Knowing we know nothing?
Things I knew at 10 and 17
I no longer know.
It came from being 10 and 17.
My daughter says, I love this one, Mom. What do I do?
Why is she asking me?