Wavering ~ Joannie Stangeland



She’s losing faith in oscillations—
the egg tossed up will crack on the kitchen floor.
The shell splits. She wipes worn linoleum,
imagines its color new.

Not moving. She’s losing trust in balance
and the pure arc—that petite stall at the swing’s top
as temporary as this breath—gravity gives
her a chance to exhale, almost catch enough.

The pendulum sticks awry, some wrangled degrees
to the left of plumb. Stuck. The evening
brings rain. She thinks of Bergen in summer,
silver sheen outside the window, the glass
and the grass laden, slick, a room through the door
ajar, a glimpse, and she’s back in this present—

lungs thirsty, blood hungering for change and yet
she’s had so much change, so many passes to reach
this point—she fears what she wants most.