Beth Suter

Last Will and Testament

The valley floor subsides—
my roots follow the sinking water table.

I wish I could leave you more
than the soggy ashes of your birthplace,

the birds all flown like grown children,
silence as odd as almond blossoms

and snow falling together today.
I stood still for thirty years

and the desert came to me,
plums replaced by prickly pears—

I leave you what’s left: sun on skin,
the hug of gravity.


Beth Suter studied Environmental Science at U.C. Davis and has worked as a naturalist and teacher. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, her poems have appeared in Colorado Review, New American Writing, Barrow Street, DMQ Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, and others. Her debut chapbook Snake and Eggs was a finalist in Finishing Line Press’s 2022 New Women’s Voices Contest. You can find her at