Two Poems by Susan Barry-Schulz


I don’t know what I’m doing I need help
with physical things I can’t keep my son
from heartbreak I miss my blonde hair and I am
embarrassed about missing my blonde hair how shallow
that is I am both angry and afraid to be angry I can’t
get my breathing right when I try to swim freestyle
in the lake I’ve never read Ulysses although I picked
up a decent copy at the Newburgh Vintage Emporium
last weekend if you ever want to borrow it masked
& unmasked coughing babies everywhere and everything
ruined forever I don’t know the names of the Greek Gods
and what they are the god of I am disappointed in humanity
like the jumbled mess on the floor of a teenager’s room and tired
of pretending everything is fine I have a lot of accumulated
knowledge about candy at least would you like to share a package
of Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews with me I’ll tell you what it’s the molasses.


Poem with a Line from Lost & Found

I am shy in the presence of my own
watched breath. Unsure of the intentions

of the breather. Have we met. Does such close
attention not skew the arc of the universe?

In the photo I am five and dressed in daisies,
still haloed in soft curls. Barefoot on the front

lawn, holding hands with my cousin Peggy—
the sun so bright it’s washed away our faces.

The verb ‘to lose’ has its taproot in sorrow.
I can’t explain the way my five-year-old self

recognized the safety of her soul. When she
was lost I felt the absence although I hadn’t

kept her close. I am left here now, still wonder-
ing. Be in. Be out. Be on and on and on.

                              (line from Lost & Found; A Memoir; Kathryn Schulz, 2022)


Susan Barry-Schulz grew up just outside of Buffalo, New York. She is a licensed physical therapist living with chronic illness. Her poetry has appeared in SWWIM, Barrelhouse online, Rogue Agent, New Verse News, Nightingale & Sparrow, Shooter Literary Magazine, The Wild Word, Bending Genres, B O D Y, Gyroscope Review, Quartet, West Trestle Review, and in other print and online journals and anthologies.