WHERE GIRLS STILL RIDE THE BEDS OF PICKUP TRUCKS
The wind is always warm here. Breezes snap
through their T-shirts, hot metal and sun burn
their arms and bare legs. They stand
near the cabs, kneel by the rattling tailgates.
It’s here where they learn how to catch maple seeds
in their teeth, and how to spit them out.
Here, they learn how to dig pebbles
and bits of gravel from beneath their skin.
Some say that their bodies turn hollow,
that one can hear wind whistling through their collar bones
and shoulder blades. Some say they almost sprout wings.
But they never fly. They only learn how to balance.
Even now, you will know them, these girls
who survived quick trips to grocery stores,
wrong turns on narrow one-way streets,
even moving days, when they sat propped up,
steadying chipped coffee tables and couches.
Their ponytails are tangled with knots
that never unraveled from the way the wind
always combed through their long hair.
—from Rattle #57, Fall 2017
Tribute to Rust Belt Poets
Karen J. Weyant: “Born and raised in the Rust Belt, I know that rust runs through my veins. Rust coats my work, my studies, and my car. Even now, as an English professor in a small Rust Belt community college, I tell my students not to be ashamed of rust. It can make the world look at things in a different way.” (website)