The Take

The Take: Susannah Sheffer


It was amazing and amazing and again amazing
that it was morning again, the lovers turning over
in their beds and finding each other
again here again you again still good
morning and even when they let themselves slip
into the ordinary shaking the
coffee grounds into the compost packing
the lunch finding the right shoes heading out
into the outside day –
                                          even then the slipping was itself
amazing, because it meant that it was possible
to rest themselves in the daily yes, the taking it
for granted, this morning as all the others,
like the skater who trusts the lake to
hold again this time.

Poet’s Statement:

It can be easier to write about losing than about having, even though the having of anything and anyone important inevitably contains within it the companion fear of losing what is so valuable. Maybe sometimes we think that writing about what we have, especially the ordinary dailiness, is less interesting than writing about longing or absence, but I think there’s a vitality in writing from the place where the two are intertwined. This poem speaks from that place.

Editor’s Statement (By Poetry Editor Jonah Meyer):

Sheffer’s poem “Again,” employing wonderful use of word repetition, at the same time celebrates both the commonness and gorgeousness of two human beings who have embarked on the enterprise of lives shared together. While there are poems aplenty of “falling in love” and, conversely, “falling out of love” poems, it seems this could be described as a “living life together in love” variety. The line expressing the couple “rest themselves in the daily yes,” in particular, is a potent image and reflection.

By Susannah Sheffer

Susannah Sheffer’s newest poetry collection, The Stone Tries to Understand the Hands, will be published by Cornerstone Press in early 2025. Her previous books include the poetry collections Break and Enter (2021) and This Kind of Knowing (2013), and the non-fiction book Fighting for Their Lives: Inside the Experience of Capital Defense Attorneys (2013). Susannah lives in Western Massachusetts.