Writing about life’s absurdities, Betsy Johnson-Miller infuses her lines with a winning sense of eros. In this beautifully crafted collection, she explores the fragile grace that is earned by finding a necessary voice in contrasts: mother/daughter, husband/wife, humor/sadness, faith/skepticism, the world of the flesh/the world of the spirit, and so much more.
Hear Betsy Johnson-Miller read 4 poems from Rain When You Want Rain
by Betsy Johnson-Miller
—To translate the darkness that comes sooner now
We do not name the bees’
addiction, yet we all know
the way they crawl into whatever
will hold them when the flowers disappear.
Then they are glad for winter
because the cold in their bodies
is the only way to survive the yellow,
the pink, the red disappearance of time
when tongues were sweet enough to ache
and bodies tight enough to fly.
As the last flowers close, the gardener says
“Let’s pick the long ones tonight,”
hoping they will bring grace
to a table where there are so many ways
to hurt someone you love.
Where saying goodbye
can sometimes be the only way
Betsy Johnson-Miller lives in Minnesota with her husband and two children. She received her MFA in poetry from Bennington College and her Master’s of Divinity in theology from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She has worked as a pastor and is currently teaching at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University. In addition to writing poetry, Betsy has published a youth novel entitled The Bracelet.