Katherine M. Clarke


Listen to the audio version.

After Edward Hirsch, "The Sweetness"

The times my failing body and I could walk
come back to me now: strolls by the Charles River,
ambles through Harvard Square …

Magnolias waved and buskers' antics
delighted our summer nights, companions
as we roamed and wandered.

Remember the bags of groceries muscled
from porch, to countertop, to cupboards?
We made a dinner, we made a life.

Wasn't that us sliding into a bath, slipping
into fresh sheets, moving as we wanted,
with whom we wanted, when we wanted?

They come back to me now, dear body of mine,
the times when I could walk and loved you more.


Katherine M. Clarke became a writer after more than thirty years teaching pastoral care and clinical mental health counseling. She held senior leadership positions in higher education and is a professor emeritus of Antioch University New England. Accustomed to understanding and representing the perspective of others, she is now delighted to be able to speak for herself. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Writing it Real and Breath and Shadow.