Cedar Koons | The Sun Magazine

Cedar Koons

Cedar Koons is a poet living in Carrboro, North Carolina. Her poems in this issue are from an unpublished collection titled Major Arcana.

— From August 1995

Selected Poems

Even the page says, / Don’t spill that ink / on this unspoiled white. / Your scribbles are / so broken, your words / so bald, so patent, / they reveal your / mediocrity.

from “Hierophant”

August 1995

Selected Poems

Our first appointment late / on a Friday, the therapist / ought to be tired. Instead she’s honed / like an old knife ready to skin / us cleanly out of our marriage.

from “High Priestess”

June 1994

Since You Left

I’ve been cleaning this house. / First sweeping you out of it, / dustballs behind old shoes in your closet, / stacks of last year’s catalogs, / the gray dirt that clings to clutter, / and then, unwittingly, / polishing, arranging, even decorating / you back in. How you were before / when I thought you happy.

August 1989

Leaving Home

Opening my legs for her wasn’t easy. / She was hunched and burnt-looking. / Her whole face puckered toward her mouth. / She spoke with words like “dirty shame” / while she gave her absolution — / a small, white cloth inserted / into my womb.

June 1988

Selected Poems

Understanding, silent, they stand near. / Their patience is our shield. Beyond desire / their touch steadies us, and where fear / would make us turn they guide our feet, fire / like an emptiness burning them to love.

from “In The Keeping Of Angels”

April 1987

Listening To The News While Cooking Supper

A habit, but it must change. / Knowing all this makes me responsible — / while I am setting dishes out / some unknown people are, / by my compliance, / being unspeakably wicked!

September 1985


Coming up from the creek / hacking at the bushes / with a homemade sword, / he will step / on the nail, in the shit, / run through poison ivy, / get tick bit, / bee stung / lost — / his bones are growing.

February 1985

The Pregnancy Scare

She missed her period, her breasts grew tender / and for a week she was a guest in her own womb. / Alone, she felt a presence around her / inside, a larval dream.

July 1983


Each night since the moon passed full / she has awakened just before dawn / from a dream which she ponders then forgets / in the stillness when even the insects sleep.

April 1983
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Taking Responsibility

You want to give birth to your child naturally. You want childbirth to be a positive experience. You have read about, talked about and surely thought about the labor and birth that lie ahead. Maybe you have taken childbirth classes to prepare yourself.

April 1976
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Blood, Sweat And Tears

Photographs of birth capture what an intense physical event it is: lots of grimacing, blood, nakedness and sweat. A film can transmit much of the emotion of the experience: pants, groans and cries, the anxiety and the joy.

April 1976
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