Penelope Weiss

Tying the Dragon’s Shoelaces

On my 25th birthday I got stoned on The Dead,
Van Morrison, his band and street choir, magic mushrooms and tequila.
My friend Wanda was mixed up in this, too.

Later that night I was tying the dragon’s shoelaces together
when he reared up and kissed me so hard
I fell over the bank and didn’t wake up until the next afternoon.

Later, much, much later, three decades later, I was surprised to be alive.
I finally understood what life was all about,
but there was nothing I could do about it,

nothing at all, especially as Wanda deserted me by dying
and the dragon came back and tied me up

with the very shoelaces I had tied together so long ago.
This time he didn’t even kiss me and I broke down crying.
Oh, Wanda, where are you, where are you now?

Inside the Hull of Time

As I traveled south on the Ethan Allen,
the river showed itself between Albany and Yonkers.

The tinted windows made the water black.
Sunlight brought out green shadows,
floating below an empire of cliffs.

Up and down the spine of the river,
up and down the spine of the seasons

the water flowed through my heart.
I fell asleep and dreamed about Spuyten Duyvil.
When I woke up, the train had pulled in to Penn Station.

Out in the harbor, the ferry ran past the great gray green statue,
and the bridges played their high-strung melodies.

An ancient ship, older than verdigris,
unfurled its sail beside the broken door.

Penelope Weiss was born in 1942. She grew up in New York City and now lives in Shrewsbury, Vermont with her husband, John Davis. Storiana, her collection of stories, was published by Casa de Snapdragon Press and is available on Amazon.
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