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Poetic Foundations

Suzanne S. Austin-Hill

Free verse, a bra. 


The need evident, but your heart's not in it. 


Your breathing restricted. 


At the first opportunity 

  you steal away to the restroom; 

  arms arched behind, 

  a contorted, unfamiliar pose. 



you sigh. 

you breathe. 


Other poetic forms, a girdle. 


The first few times you wear it... 

   you feel different 


    commitment requires patience  

   fit is important 

      too tight?  discomfort 

      too loose?  ineffective 

      just right?  Zen  

   under optimum conditions 

      preferences develop 


   unbridled informality 

       yields to organized, 

       held-together authority. 

Suzanne S. Austin-Hill is a retired, Black senior. She’s earned three degrees in Mathematics Education and one in Sign Language Interpretation. For over a decade, from a house built on what used to be a thriving tomato farm in Ruskin (a crowded suburb of Tampa, FL), she has penned hundreds of literary works. Her pieces have appeared in The Tampa Bay Times, The Washington Post, 805 Lit + Art, Newtown Literary, Lucky Jefferson, O Miami, the Sandhill Review, and Zoetic Press. Suzanne’s photographs have received recognition at the Tampa Museum of Art, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, and have accompanied her print material published online by the Florida Local Artist & Writer Network and in Of Poets and Poetry. Her first book of poetry, Sixty-seven Pages from the Heart, is available at 

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