a sonnet corona for Doris  

I watch you view the newness of your world.
Your widened eyes are dazzled by the light.
Your fists of curiosity unfurl
Like flexing wings on chicks who dream of flight.
I see you snooze to music in your sphere
Wooed by Mommy’s lullabies. Your coos
Are burbled bursts of buoyant crystal cheer
Unsullied by the hues of wisdom’s blues.
You soak me in a splash of sunshine beams
That stream and gleam when fun is in the air.
My stoic poise is fraying at the seams.
I’m overstuffed with fluffy tufts of care
Escaping from my effervescing heart.
I’m giddy with the glory of God’s art.

I’m giddy with the glory of God’s art—
Your velvet skin, the vim within your soul,
Your cherub cheeks and lips, each peachy part
That makes you whole; the whisper of your role
In moons to come when skittish springtime blooms…
That hazy place beyond these baby days,
Beyond the bib and crib and pink balloons
Where stars and thorns stud undiscovered ways.
I quake at every future scrape and fall—
Mistakes your naked heart is apt to make.
I’ve heard the silver song and honeyed call
On cunning tongues that vow they won’t forsake
The one who’s yet to learn that cold lies burn…
The one who’ll tell me, Grandma, it’s my turn!  

The one who’ll tell me Grandma, it’s my turn 
Is you—the best gift since I had your dad,
The one who smiles in rocking arms that yearn
To guide you to the good and through the bad.
You’ve graced me with a gush of gasping glee
To quench the thirst of parched, untrodden ground.
The newest bud upon the family tree,
You’ve blessed me with a zest I lost—now found
In eyes that brim with all that’s bright and fresh,
Eyes that flash with wishes set to fly
Beyond the weight of worn and weary flesh,
Above the strain of history’s jaded sigh.
To soar to highs where purest prayers are hurled,
I watch you view the newness of our world.

Previously published in Expansive Poetry Online.



Susan Jarvis Bryant has poetry published on Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, Light, Sparks of Calliope, and Expansive Poetry Online. She also has poetry published in TRINACRIA, Beth Houston’s Extreme Formal Poems anthology, and in Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets in the UK). Susan is the winner of the 2020 International SCP Poetry Competition, and has been nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize.

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18 Responses

  1. Roy Eugene Peterson

    Stunningly precious portrayal of a grandmother’s thoughts and feelings. What more can I say than your poetry always stirs deep emotions. In this case, I ingest these words in my own mind and transfer these images as a grandfather.

    On a separate note, I wrote a poem about you that I hope you and Mike do not mind me sharing:

    By Roy E. Peterson (May 9, 2023)

    I have great poet friends
    ___like Susan Jarvis Bryant.
    She has a heart of gold,
    ___but she can be defiant.
    I call her the mistress
    ___of alliteration.
    Her pen can be her sword
    ___for obliteration.

    You should read her poems
    ___on King Charlie Three
    Destined to be the worst
    ___in English history.
    Though she hails from England
    ___and watched his coronation,
    She told his wokish views.
    ___He’s an abomination.

    Thank goodness she now lives
    ___in Corpus Christi, Texas,
    From which she can pack a punch
    ___to the solar plexus.
    I am glad she’s on my side,
    ___as I am on hers.
    She deserves the accolades
    ___everyone confers.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Roy, thank you very much for your kind comment, and especially for the wonderful poem written especially for me. What a beautiful gift! I love it! It’s made my lovely Mother’s Day even better. With much appreciation.

  2. Mark Stellinga

    Susan, this being another remarkable piece also found in your wonderful new book – “Fern Feathered Edges”, I consider it one of your all time finest works. What a moving piece it is! Bravo, young lady.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Mark, this poem is indeed in my new book, and I’m thrilled you like it. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it… little Doris spurred me on. Thank you very much for your appreciative words.

  3. Joshua C. Frank

    Susan, this is beautiful! The form is perfect for it, and it expresses very well what it’s like to be around a baby in one’s own family. Plus, when I read the lines, “The one who’ll tell me Grandma, it’s my turn /Is you—the best gift since I had your dad,” I could picture my own mother saying this someday when I have my own children.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Josh, thank you very much. I’m glad you enjoyed this poem. Children are the greatest gifts, and I hope you hear your mother speaking those special words… soon.

  4. Yael

    That’s a very beautiful Mother’s Day poem, thank you Susan. Happy and blessed Mother’s Day to you and all the other mothers out there.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Yael, thank you for your beautiful words… they’ve snuck into my heart and made me glow. Mothers matter. 🙂

  5. Norma Pain

    What a beautiful poem for your granddaughter. So many touching sentiments and lovely phrases. Happy Mother’s day to you Susan and thank you for this wonderful poem.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you for your lovely comment, and a very Happy Mother’s Day to you, Norma… I hope you had a splendid one.

  6. jd

    A beautiful poem, Susan. Your words sparkle; I especially love the “fluffy tufts of care” and so many others. The repetition of final lines is very effective too. What a treasure for your granddaughter once she is old enough to appreciate it and for her mother too, of course.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      jd, what a beautiful comment. I thoroughly appreciate it and hope my little granddaughter will appreciate my words when she is old enough to understand the sentiment. I’m thrilled you like my “fluffy tufts of care”… I looked for words that express the smitten, cooing wonderment she brings out in me. I promised I wouldn’t be one of those grandmothers who bores everyone else by going on and on… and on… and now look at me! I will work at reining my grandmotherly ways in… on the SCP site, at least. 😉

  7. Joseph S. Salemi

    This is an absolutely stunning crown, Susan. Your granddaughter will be very proud when she can read and appreciate it. And you of course can be proud right now!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Joe, thank you very much indeed for you beautiful words! What more could a smitten grandmother ask? 🙂

  8. Margaret Coats

    They are wonderful, touching sonnets, Susan, nicely arranged into a little crown for Doris. I am sure you will keep up the childhood poetry, and thus you may rival Algernon Charles Swinburne, who is remembered for very different kinds of lyric, but had a great gift in writing about the children of William Rossetti. The only examples easy to find online seem to be his set of roundels entitled “Babyhood,” but there are many more if you have access to his collected works. Have no fear of becoming a grandma-poet!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Margaret, thank you very much for your kind, informative, and encouraging comment – ‘grandma-poet’ has a lovely ring about it. I am eager to look up Swinburne’s roundels – a form that intrigues me, especially with a beautiful subject in mind.

    • Joshua C. Frank

      I found Swinburne’s collection A Century of Roundels (which includes “Babyhood”). Now I have a new form I want to start working with! Thanks.

    • Margaret Coats

      The roundel resembles an old French form, but it was created by Swinburne, and therefore has far fewer examples extant than the medieval forms. Good ones are very much needed! Studying the Century demonstrates the potential.


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