In All Things Erika, EMPTY ARMS: a novel

During the period that followed her daughter’s birth and relinquishment in 1966, birthmother Susan Van Sleet portrayed what she describes as “gut-sensing” artworks. Numerous portraits depict her own emotions with images of how she was dealing with the loss of her firstborn child.

“Frozen Emotions” is the first of Susan’s self-portraits with poetry.

Frozen Emotions

Sixty-seven was the year
Weeks turned months
In private tear

Politely guarded
Programmed never to tell
Numbing emotions
Were secreted well

Trapped and bewildered
Veiled in blue
A hollow feeling
Pierced her through

Convinced it was an act in kind
How could such guilt
Still plague her mind

To see more of Susan artwork, you can visit her on Facebook at Canvas Creation by Susan VanSleet.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Stacy S. Jensen

    I’ve enjoyed these posts. Very kind of Susan to share her work.

    • Erika

      I second that, Stacy – a big thanks to Susan for sharing her experience and beautiful artwork with us!!

      • Susan Vansleet

        Erika …applause, applause! You have blazed the post-adoption closure trail. Thank you for enlightening the unenlightened.

    • Susan Vansleet

      Thank you, Stacy …it has been a lifelong journey, to be sure. If my honesty is found to be helpful to any post-adoption triad member, I am content.

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