“Suicides” by Faith Shearin

There was the one who walked into a river
with her pockets full of stones and the one
who started her car with the garage door closed,
determined to drive herself elsewhere.
The youngest went into the kitchen
and placed her head where she had
so often placed chickens or hams.
These were the women whose voices
I carried in my backpacks, whose books
moved with me from one city to another
and, one day, I realized I had outlived
all of them. I was sad that they could
not describe the other world,
that they offered no map to old age.
Was it dangerous to write? I began
to walk more carefully beside rivers,
to eat cold food, to let someone else
back the car out of the driveway.


“Suicides” by Faith Shearin from Telling the Bees. © Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2015.

4 thoughts on ““Suicides” by Faith Shearin

  1. I’m showing my ignorance here…does anyone know which writers she is writing about?

    Makes me think of John Berryman: I used to walk across that bridge every day a few years after he jumped from it. I thought of him pretty much every time.



    1. Hi dw!

      No ignorance at all! Let’s call it curiosity 😉

      Virginia Woolf drowned herself. Anne Sexton locked herself in her garage and started her car, dying by carbon monoxide poisoning. Sylvia Plath took her life by putting her head in an oven and then turning on the gas.

      Thanks for asking; I’m sure others wondered too. x, christy

      Sent from my iPhone



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