Sharon Stenson

Three Poems – Sharon Stenson

"Up On Mineral Springs Road" by Sharon StensonThe Capital District had to say good-bye to a wonderful local poet on Christmas eve. Sharon Stenson (December 25, 1942-December 24, 2021) received a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, both from SUNY Albany. For over 30 years, Sharon gave piano instruction at Hilton Pianos. She taught English as an adjunct professor at Schenectady County Community College, Marist College, and SUNY Cobleskill. Sharon performed in jazz bands, acted and accompanied for local theater, and wrote beautiful poetry. Sharon was a member of local writing groups including the Hudson Valley Writers Guild, Howedunnits, and With Pen in Hand. Her poetry was featured in many journals, magazines, and anthologies including Shenandoah Literary Magazine, culminating in a book of poems, Up On Mineral Springs Road.

She is greatly missed.


Spring Farm

White lilacs. White lilacs. Bumblebees
in the promised land. The whitest lilacs
grow in the deep grass at the edge
of the overturned garden. Ashes, Ashes,
the fence is falling down! The dress
I wore when I was twelve was white,
it was borrowed, and white. It touched my body

everywhere, and I walked out in fields,
my shadow dark against the sun,
and down the hill to Spring Farm.
The house at the edge, its windows
turning outward, the garden in the bee-
hum where the white lilacs grew. Fear

the sow, they told me. She is in her pen,
and angry. I pressed her small, squalling child
to my breast, my feet bare and dirty in the mud
from the sty. In the barn, that thick animal closeness.
I fell into the light from hundreds of small cracks,
the eyes of barn cats white in the darkest corners.

And I walked out in the shadow of the promised
land. The bees had carried the garden away.
In the deep grass, the lilacs knelt down. The dress
I wore was white, was borrowed, and white.
It touched my body everywhere.


High-Heeled Blue Shoes

It’s the angle of the instep
to the earth, to
the sky. Five
and a half inches
of sheer torture. My feet
down here,
to the ground.
There is a little death
in these shoes. Tongueless, they scream,
“I got shoes. You got
shoes. All God’s chillin’ got
Footwear for whores,
or angels. They’re bleeding sapphire,
aquamarine, lapis lazuli. The possibility
of height.
Again today I put on the shoes.
It’s a hunger



We washed our clothes outside, in tubs, the wives
like old-time women. It rained. There were lizards
out by the clothesline, changing color, ever-changing
green to yellow, back to green.
You got drunk on moonshine whiskey, called
my name, your face falling onto the untiled
bathroom floor. The rain fell down, seeped
through the bedroom window, underneath doors.
We painted the bedroom passion purple
to cover up the stains. The walls collapsed
The Cherokee woman in the next apartment
stabbed her husband on Christmas eve
with no snow on the ground.
The wife from Minnesota ran away
with the traveling sideshow.
We washed our clothes outside, the wives,
Wrung them out barehanded in the yard.
I married a man from California with no rain
in his eyes, and now I’m dragging my longer, heavier
skirts through the same old mud puddles
Last night I dreamed of Tennessee, of cotton candy,
tattooed ladies, and carousels with gilded horses,
circling in the rain.



2 thoughts on “Three Poems – Sharon Stenson”

  1. Love the updates. Very classy, with photos etc. Loved and knew Sharon for many years. I had been in several writing groups with her. She went through many tough health battles with great courage.Now at peace, she will be dearly missed.

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