Northwords Now Issue 39

The FREE literary magazine of the North

waney-edged wood

by Isabel Thompson

I wish I could meander like these waney edges
the edges of the shelf my father made
so that his fathers’ books could look down on us with dignity
                above
            the fray.

I wish I could meander like these waney edges
making fun of movement and disto
                                 rting
line;
and be the bridge that crosses between solid and air:
        deviation from what norm?

If I could meander like these waney edges,
a hop and a jump and a ripple
of skating palm         I’d chart a course away
from all these crannies and
 closed pages.

I wish I could meander like these waney edges
drape myself like contour lines across a map
move in currents of the air and water,
anywhere the drift takes me –


my father, a craftsman
his finest work
sitting
in a house
that she’s finally
buying him out of

as fast
as the banks
will allow.