The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Stellasue Lee

Between Life and Loss

                                 --for Jillian 


A gaggle of geese fly oh, no more
than 75 feet above my head. I can see
their underbellies; a soft golden egg
in light. There is honking, of course,
as well as the sound of a train whistle,
far off at first, then closer. The sun is going down.
It’s October, with a 20% chance of rain.
I am here, planted, you might say, in this chair.
I’d tie myself in if it would stop
her car from leaving the road. Stop
the roar of that engine as it flew
across the sky, somersaulted
how many times… I beg to never know.
I must root to the ground and wait.
If life were fair, any minute she would appear
with her own daughter— who is just taking  
first baby steps forward in life—
Jillian’s arms would be full of freshly cut
flowers and herbs from their garden.
I can almost hear her call, Mother,
as they come through the gate. I could
forgive the fate against us, perhaps,
if today were not so beautiful, and beautiful
too, the day it happened, and the day after…




STELLASUE LEE's work is published in numerous literary journals. Two of her books have been entrants for the Pulitzer Prize, Firecracker Red, a powerful collection of poems set squarely in the earth, and Crossing The Double Yellow Line, a journey of sharp turns and hair-pin curves. Her work has appeared in three more volumes, After I Fall, a collection of four Los Angeles poets, Over To You, an exchange of poems with David Widup, and 13 Los Angeles Poets, the ONTHEBUS Poets Series Number One. (Bombshelter Press.) She was the winner of a grand prize in Poetry To Aide 2013 by Humanity Al Falah in Malaysia. Dr. Lee received her Ph.D. from Honolulu University. Now Editor Emeritus at RATTLE, a literary journal, she works privately with students all over the US. Stellasue was born in the year of the dragon.



Continue Reading >