These Things Add Up | Literary Arts | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

These Things Add Up

A poem by Lori Wilson

I'm talking about
the bent spoon, cracked cup.
I'm talking about the broom,
Mother, her black dress. I mean:
flying over the handlebars of my bike
and Benji, who said I couldn't play
because I was barefoot

and how later I hated my feet,
also my legs, my teeth,
my hair, my knees, my breasts --

I'm saying: these things add up
to a woman who moves
small in a body disowned
but large in the mind where arms --
arms are wings, muscled wings,
and she rides the wind down.

She circles, drops quickly.
She pierces the eye with her hard yellow beak.

-- Lori Wilson


Lori Wilson is the author of the poetry collection House Where a Woman (Autumn House Press, 2009). Her poems and reviews have also appeared in Women's Review of Books, Southern Poetry Review, Salamander, Kestrel, Cerise, 5 AM and elsewhere. She is a graduate of the MFA Program in Poetry at Drew University. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on 90.5 FM.