The 2River View 28.2 (Winter 2024)

Kathryn Weld


is skin of garter snake

          sloughed off
          opaque on the mossy bank

a weightless promise
          owner gone
          somewhere unknown

If I crawl out of my skin,

          my scaled

 belly plates, parched tail, lies,

          why I listen to lies—my own—
          if I leave the shell of them

only filled with air 

          a marvel to be found
          by children                 

what will I be or become                  

          The Rabbi says a searcher
          goes from room to palace room. 

A continuous going.


When we heard the news, my husband got up
and went out into the night to leave a candle

burning for the boy who once nestled, trusting,
in his lap. Not wanting to intrude, he left

the candle on the curb beside the walk—
a tealight candle, flickering. The Rabbi says,

we must honor the life, however troubled,
so I won’t say more except it was impossible

not to ponder failure. In the morning
when we went to shiva the candle was still

visible, exhausted of wax and rimmed with tin—
a quiet message, noticed only by us.

And what people brought—restraint and plain
talk—a simple current, without stop or start.


Kathryn Weld holds a PhD in mathematics from CUNY and an MFA from Sewanee School of Letters. Her full-length debut Afterimage is published by Pine Row Press. Her poetry and prose appear in American Book Review, The Cortlandt Review, The Southeast Review, and elsewhere. (website)
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