©Andrena Zawinski 2013

©Andrena Zawinski 2013


(in Rockwood, Pennsylvania)

The crickets can keep you awake

like an old rocking chair

loose on the rails.

The 10:45 CSX can slice the night,

scraping west from Altoona and howling

the bridge above Glade Run Creek

where Mohawk and Cree

once cut a path.

But what can a woman

do out in Rockwood?

She can put out salt lick and apples

for white-tailed deer, pick a bouquet

of goldenrod and sweet joe-pye

from uncut fields, stake a roadside stand

with odd bric-a-brac,

get her hair done at Bonnie’s Salon

to have dinner down at McDivit’s.

She can pull a daily wage

at Tinkey’s lumber or limestone works

in Milford or Somerset,

set up a satellite dish

for city stars to come in;

but at night

alone in Rockwood,

she can’t keep nosey moonlight

from creeping in the cracks

where she props a loaded shotgun

at the bedroom door, can’t help thinking

a woman’s scream

could be caught here

like a firefly in an airtight jar,

dulled by lightning at summer’s end

storming the walls.


©Andrena Zawinski, 2013

Andrena Zawinski is a fellow of the W. PA Writing Project at the University of Pittsburgh where she led poetry writing workshops in the Young Writers’ Institutes, Teachers’ Institutes, and  for the Mid-Atlantic States Council. Her poetry collection, Something About from Blue Light Press, is a 2010 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award recipient. Zawinski founded and runs a women’s poetry salon for which she is editor of their Scarlet Tanager Books anthology, Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down. “Sleepless Night at Summer’s End” appears in her Kenneth Patchen Prize collection from Pig Iron Press, Traveling in Reflected Light.  


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