Mayapple Press is a small literary press founded in 1978 by poet and editor Judith Kerman. We celebrate literature that is both challenging and accessible: poetry that transcends the categories of "mainstream" and "avant-garde"; women's writing; the Great Lakes/Northeastern culture; the recent immigrant experience; poetry in translation; science fiction poetry.
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Rain When You Want Rain – Betsy Johnson-Miller

Rain When You Want Rain - Betsy Johnson-Miller

Rain When You Want Rain – Betsy Johnson-Miller


Poetry. Paper, perfect bound, 74 pp
$14.95 plus s&h
2010, ISBN 978-0932412-867

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
[audio:http://www.mayapplepress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Betsy Johnson-Miller.mp3]


Season’s End
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
to live.


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.