joshua j ballard Selfless plug: Josh has a new book out! i keep going published by Piscataway House Publications. This poem was featured in this issue and is from the book…I love the images going back and forth between how she felt and the feeling of trucks passing….perhaps a very similar feeling if you’ve ever broken down on a highway or tried riding your bike on one you may relate….I like the growth of the stanzas adding the tension as each sentence becomes just a little bit longer and ending with two quick sentences getting us out of the poem immediately…this I believe is an example of a poem that would work really well being read out loud but works just as well on the page….
Suddenly she understood the weight
of 10-ton trucks passing
40 times a day on her back.
She felt the constant biting
at the base of her spine
from keeping it together,
when an entire city relied upon her.
She understood the constant dressing and redressing
of old cracks and wounds,
she understood the last toe hanging onto the ledge
as a street with one light left on.
The darkness on the other side is
It’s too permanent.
It’s too heavy to think about.