Two Poems by Susan Scheid

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Resilience

Even the “R” has curves
bends to the ground
rebounds
joins the others
to lead the way
on its thin legs

The Jade Belt

I feel the scales form.
First behind my ears
next along ridges of bone
between shoulder blades.

The doctors say it’s a rash.
I disagree.

I see how the scales shimmer
feel how they seek warmth.
I am transforming.

There’s a Chinese folk tale
about a greedy man who dies.
Before he returns to Earth
he’s given a choice of clothing.
He finds a glittering suit
with a belt of translucent jade.
He returns as a golden snake
striped green along it’s back.
His wishes turn sideways, like the way
he now moves.

The doctors say medicine will heal me,
make the scales disappear and soften
the leathery skin forming on my body.

I palm the pills.
Pray.
Please, I whisper, let me be
a creature that shimmers in the night.

Susan Scheid is the author of After Enchantment and her poetry has appeared in The Orchards Poetry Journal, Burgeon Press, About Place Journal, Truth to Power, Beltway Quarterly, Little Patuxent Review, The Sligo Journal, Silver Birch Press, Tidal Basin Review, and other journals. Her work is also included in the anthologies, Poetic Art, Enchantment of the Ordinary, and Dear Vaccine. She has featured at Sunday Kind of Love, LaTiDo, Takoma Park Third Thursday, The Reach, and in venues in Ohio, Texas, and Louisiana. Susan served on the Board of Directors for Split This Rock. She lives in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC.

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