Laura Grace Weldon
I am the author of a poetry collection titled Tending and a handbook of alternative education, Free Range Learning, with a book of essays due out soon. I live on Bit of Earth Farm where I spend too much time reading, cooking weird things, and singing to livestock. Connect with me at lauragraceweldon.com.
Maybe it was the car we parked outside,
poxed with rust, shaped like a bar of soap.
Maybe it was our worn clothes, scuffed shoes.
Maybe it was my mother-in-law,
deferential as a servant.
Maybe it was my husband. Maybe me.
My mother-in-law had moved in with us,
so we browsed for lamp-shaped optimism
in her favorite shade of blue.
The owner approached,
hair perfect, clothes elegant
on the hanger of her shoulders.
"You probably won't find
what you're looking for here,"
she said, face mannequin blank.
"Might I suggest another store?"
Today that shop's windows are slapped
with Going Out of Business signs.
I let sympathy shake my head,
imagine the owner now knows
money isn't sturdy as furniture,
isn’t alive as trees are
till cut into tables and chairs.
Wealth knows less than
this breeze. I hear it
whisper winter, winter,
through gumdrop green leaves.
Foretold During A Sleepover With 12-Year-Old Girls
Ghost stories and gossip, forgotten
when she showed us the Ouija board
filched from her older sister's room.
Outside, dry leaves scraped fingertips
across pavement as wind swirled them
in patterns that may, too, have been messages,
but we clustered over the board's dark formal script,
giggling, nervous, accusing each other
of willfully steering the plastic indicator,
denying we steered it ourselves, calling out
letters forming words forming prophecies.
I asked my future husband's name
and was given the letter M
followed by A, then R, finally C.
No one by the name Marc in our classes,
so I wasn't teased like girls who got
Tim or Michael or Kyle.
When I met you two years later
your name ended in a K.
Teasing, I nicknamed you Marcus,
sometimes call you that still.
After all these years,
I see what I couldn't then.
Mark, my love, your name
was already spelled
by every letter on that board.
Overcoming Our Divisions Is Going To Take Some Time
After driving past a white supremacists’ gathering in a farm field.
The pear tree is hardly taller than I am,
branches bent with ripe fruit
mottled gold and brown.
Each pear plucked
is a welcome
weight in the hand,
in the basket. Even
rotting fruit at my feet
is a celebration of hornets.
I think of these pears
in the mouths of children I love.
I squint at neighbors’ homes,
recently shadowed by Trump signs,
want to offer this sweetness to them all,
want to ask blessings to settle over every one of us.
Instead I carry the pears inside. This division is on me, too.
"Overcoming Our Divisions Is Going To Take Some Time" was first published in Poetry24 (November, 2017).
©2018 Laura Grace Weldon
©2018 Laura Grace Weldon
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