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What I Owe Vermeer

Tim Suermondt

It’s the bowl of fruit—

the knife on the table,

handy as an angel in heaven.


It’s the woman who saw the light

by stepping out of the shadow, her white

pitcher sturdier now than whalebone.


It’s the man hidden outside

the frame, asking for a slice of bread

with butter, asking for forgiveness.






Tim Suermondt is the author of TRYING TO HELP THE ELEPHANT MAN DANCE ( The Backwaters Press, 2007) and JUST BEAUTIFUL coming from NYQ Press in the Fall of 2010. He has published work in Poetry, The Georgia Review, New South, Southern Poetry Review, Poetry East, Bellevue Literary Review and Poetry Northwest, among others. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.



A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


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