Poetry by Laura Grace Weldon

No Such Thing As Time   

Isaac imagined time as a river flowing. 

Albert, as a single four-dimensional entity. 

I lie awake in a 56-year-old insomniac body

under a thick quilt

still in my 13-year-old body 

spine against shingles of my childhood home

facing the stars. 

Somewhere inside, parent’s voices murmur

indistinct but comforting

as they may have sounded

from the womb. 

Till my sister returns

eyes red, pupils strange in the light. 

With her arrives yelling, door slamming,

and inevitably, Jim Morrison turned full blast 

singing of a boy who woke before dawn 

to slaughter each member of his family. 

Jim Morrison screams 

and screams 

and screams. 

Stars tumble from the night’s dark basket,

scatter across the roof, pierce my skin. 

I can’t help but breathe them in

as I lie awake next to my husband

blinking back shards. 

East 55th and Broadway

I lift my foot from the brake as lights turn green 

when a truck speeds through the intersection, 

heaves into an old wood-sided station wagon.

The car lifts and twirls in front of me,

glass sparkling slow as silence 

slow as a day shattering. 

It lands back on its wheels, 

bounces like a vehicular gymnast. 

I sit, stunned, still hearing metal cry. 

Several heartbeats, then people rush 

into the street from sidewalks and stores,

wrench open the door,

lean in to the driver. 

A gray-haired woman 

wearing a vest full of pockets

springs out, rushes to  

rail at the truck driver 

who is bent 

by shame or pain. 

Two women at a bus stop hug each other,

men in greasy shirts stand outside a repair shop, 

children stare from an idling school bus. 

A siren’s cry empties the silence.  

Traffic wakes, moves.  

I don’t know what to do 

but drive, 

pores prickling 

as if sprinkled with sand,

sky sparkling as if

scrubbed and polished.  

Fog As Visible Dreams

Mysteries flicker under each tender eyelid. 

Become mist. Pass through walls. 

Crowd the street, stories in symbol

lingering over a neighborhood asleep.

Houses and mailboxes

move toward my headlights,

ghosts stepping into form.

I see each thing clearly 

only as it passes by.


Moonlight leaks through the curtains.

I lie awake, listen to coyote songs

circle and connect, stitching together 

the night’s raw edges. 

Each time I hear their howls

my bone marrow sings.

What’s muzzled in me lifts. 

I seem silent and still, 

yet my pulse races through the trees.

Why Bottles Litter Interstate Hillsides

On a steep slope behind a wire fence

meant to keep deer off the road,

suburban boys gather. Each brings 

microbrews found in upscale fridges

or energy drinks sloshed with vodka. 

They lean away from the ground’s tilt.

Drink, brag, smoke, jeer, jostle for position. 

The highway courses endlessly below them,

overpasses and underpasses heading six directions, 

every vehicle steering away.

Traffic noise fills the night, fills their bodies, 

amps up a signature restlessness.

In earlier eras, boys their age claimed 

homesteads, climbed ship rigging, 

set type, shaped glass, forged iron. 

Instead they’re here on this cold night. 

Words steam and fade

into exhaust-heavy air. 

Every day in every boy’s memory, 

they’ve been graded on doing

a backpackful of nothing.

Here they snap saplings, toss bottles,

sometimes hoist the drunkest kid

halfway over the fence. They’re told 

you’ve got your whole life ahead of you

but wonder, unspoken, how they’ll ever

merge onto lanes taking them there.  

Poetry by Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is the author of three books, most recently the poetry collection Blackbird (Grayson Books, 2019), the strength of which led her to being named Ohio Poet of the Year 2019-2020. Laura works as a book editor, teaches writing workshops, and maxes out her library card each week. lauragraceweldon.com

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