by Susan Beem

I came upon a story
that bothered me,
so I used gaps,
things suggested
to invent names,
People set down
a version of events,
leave out things you
most like to know.
It’s difficult to discover
the beginning
the steamy ―
Tom, a mistress,

I went looking for her grave ―
my English point of view
that going to Canada
is the same as death,
that it was scandal
to be murdered.
What you get now
is rumor in place of unknown,
reform for victims, digression
about immigrants.
Always a story behind the story,
partial knowledge, a shape,
a crime.

SOURCE: Margaret Atwood interview by Deborah Rozen (1997) posted on a Random House Blog  <bold type>.

IMAGE: Author Margaret Atwood.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Beem is a retired family physician who lives in Long Beach, California, and has been writing poetry for about 10 years with the help of local workshops. Her poems have been published by Verdad, Ekphrasis, Turtle Quarterly, Song of the San Joaquin, Bank Heavy Press, Medusa’s Laugh, and included in several themed anthologies.