Out of Body
Before I knew how to make my eyes march
in rows following shapes called words,
before I could cross the street
without a taller hand to hold,
I worked to stay in the small body
my being was given.
If not for careful attention I drifted.
Became a squirrel on the branch
muscles ready to leap,
nose a nervous twitter, ever wary
though I only wanted
to see furry playfulness.
Became J.P. down the street
licking lips already chapped and bleeding
jeering smaller children loudly
to silence a chest ribbed with sorrow.
This made it harder to hate
the bully he seemed.
At night I kept blankets pulled tight
but still, the room grew so large
my bed became a tiny speck
and me, a traveler.
From a vantage point I didn’t seek
I saw dark houses hunker on endless streets,
cars pull like magnets along lines of light.
Within them people carrying their lives
with so much effort when all around them
was this space any could soften into.
I pulled back and back and back,
searching for and sharpening
my own edges.
Even though I stay in this body
sometimes I drift
sliding through as we all can
from me into you.
Laura Grace Weldon
Find more poems in my collection, Tending.