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Suzie and Crusoe 

By Damian C. Koshnick

“as if I had seen an apparition; I listened, I looked round me, I could hear nothing, nor see anything; I went up to a rising ground to look farther, I went up the shore and down the shore, but it was all one . . .” 

from Robinson Crusoe
by Daniel Defoe

She is reading from a lamp, the extension cord
a coiled snake
across the porch.

Through the window
her mother sees her Suzie,
on a green bean bag covered
like a sage
in the orange, knitted, living room blanket.

Beyond the margins
of each page,
beyond the margins of her small lamplight,
the evening storm clouds are darkening.

As she turns the pages the porch moans
her mother calls out “dinner Suzie,”
but she is enthralled,
Crusoe is busy fashioning instruments before her eyes:

a crude knife,
an upturned limb becomes, suddenly,
a doorknob for his shack amidst trees;
he is walking long, desolate beaches at dusk, wrestling tides
while considering the curious eyeballs of a fish.

This whole man’s life
is a drama in her very palms.

Her father greets her as he arrives from work, from the rain.
She nods, turns the page;
the ocean and possibilities
are singing loudly in her ears.

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