by Susie Sweetland Garay

Artwork by Susie Sweetland Garay. Used with permission.


My pelvic bowl holds us,
like the ocean at night

beautiful and dark
and frightening,

full of mystery
and secrets
of creation
and power

with so much hidden
just underneath.

shines through
in pinpricks

illuminating just enough.

She fantasizes about freedom
but does not climb down from her cage.

When she is angry
she speaks again and again
until she is heard.

She makes the hard decisions

and walks slowly
through the space of quiet
and discomfort and



Born and raised in Portland Oregon, Susan Sweetland Garay currently lives in the Willamette Valley with her husband and daughter where she works in the vineyard industry. She enjoys writing, watercolors, photography and metal smithing. She has had poetry and photography published in a variety of journals, on line and in print. Her first full length poetry collection, Approximate Tuesday, was published in 2013 and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014.  Her second collection, Strange Beauty from Aldrich Press, was published in 2015.  More of her work can be found at


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