She holds in her skull

the quilted memory of a pain

fused with a metal plate.

Some nights she can feel the sky

hard as steel building to a muscled

roar. She is always fourteen.

In her the lightning waits

to sing out, to arc in a touch.

She balances a song against her fear,

never singing of a father

she heard dying miles away

and who died mid-refrain.

For once she lacked the strength

to catch the notes as they flew

up and out of range, into the dark

clouds gathering in all the world

she will ever hear.


Richard Weaver resides in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor where he volunteers with the Maryland Book Bank, and is a seasonal snowflake counter (unofficially). His publications include conjunctions, crazyhorse, Loch Raven Review, North American Review, Poetry, Black Warrior Review, 2River View, New Eengland Review, and the ubiquitous Elsewhere.

Recent poems have appeared in the Southern Quarterly, Little Patuxent Review, Red Eft Review, Crack the Spine, and Gingerbread House. Forthcoming work will be appearing in Clade Song, Dead Mule, & Steel Toe Review (2017).