MN poetry: Susan Marie Swanson’s “Trouble, Fly”

Susan Marie Swanson is a poet and picture book author fascinated by the place where her understandings about poetry, children’s own writing, the lives of children, and children’s literature converge.

Besides writing poetry and picture books for children, Swanson has been writing poetry with children for more than 25 years, teaching in the COMPAS Writers and Artists in the Schools program and in summer arts programs at St. Paul Academy and the Friends School of Minnesota. Her awards include fellowships in poetry from the Bush Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board, as well as the McKnight Artist Fellowship in Children’s Literature.

Swanson lives with her family in St. Paul.

Trouble, Fly

Trouble, fly

out of our house.

We left the window

open for you.

Fly like smoke from a chimney.

Fly like the whistle from a train.

Fly far, far

away from my family,

mumbling in their sleep.

Trouble, fly.

Let our night be a night of peace.

– “Trouble, Fly” by Susan Marie Swanson, as it appears in the collection “The Wind Blows, The Ice Breaks” published by Nodin Press. Reprinted here with permission from the editor.