Watching for Aliens over the Allegheny

By Karen Weyant

Two kids from the city swear they saw

strange lights in the sky, so that is why

we are here, your shoes sinking

in soft mud while I'm barefoot, wading

in water that curls around my toes.

It's twilight, the horizon bruised.

Shanties tilt to the side, floorboards soaked

from spring flooding, moss heavy

on roofs and banisters. Hemlock trunks

throw shadows like men, and I think

of my neighbor who claims that a week ago,

two figures in black suits walked through

her backyard. When she looked for their tracks,

she could only find pawprints of a large dog.

Purple loosestrife springs from small

islands, a lingering breeze sulks, kicks

cattails and chicory weed. In the distance,

towers from the oil refineries spark.

I hear a snap and a splash.

Carp, you say, or maybe brown trout.

Darkness hovers, smooths out the lines

in the sky. We lose hours in complete silence.


Karen J. Weyant's work has appeared in 5 AM, Cave Wall, Copper Nickel, and River Styx. She is the author of two chapbooks: Stealing Dust (Finishing Line Press, 2009) and Wearing Heels in the Rust Belt (winner of Main Street Rag's 2011 Chapbook Contest). "Watching for Aliens over the Allegheny" is her first speculative poem.

Comments

I'm not a world travelor, unfortunately, but it doesn't seem like Karen has ever been to Appalachia either. The poem is okay otherwise.

Knowing Karen's work and her background, not only has she been to Appalachia she's born, raised and still working there.

Very evocative choice of words here.

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