by Eric Nelson
All day a gray wave grew,
Roared into a downpour that climbed
The steps, swept the living room.
From opposite walls the stove
And refrigerator met. A snake
Hung from the ceiling fan. Unhung,
Family photos floated face down.
Beds unmade themselves a layer
At a time—quilts, blankets, sheets
Lost their grip. In the current
Pillows shifted shapes like clouds.
When sunlight broke, everything
Inside was gone, including a marriage,
Two kids and a dog. Outside, his writing
Desk jutted from a tree like a limb.
Eric Nelson’s poems have appeared in Poetry, The Southern
Review, The Sun, The Oxford American, and many other
journals. The most recent of his five books, The Twins,
appeared in 2009 from Split Oak Press as the winner of their
annual chapbook competition. Other book publications include
Terrestrials (Texas Review Press, 2004), winner of the X.J.
Kennedy Poetry Award, and The Interpretation of Waking
Life (University of Arkansas Press, 1991). Nelson teaches
creative writing at Georgia Southern University.
On “Inside Weather”:
This poem went through many, many drafts, but it wasn’t
until the last few that the reference to marriage/family
entered the poem directly. Until then, I had focused on—
and hoped the poem could succeed through—sounds, images,
connotations. But even after I’d gotten those things how I
wanted, something was still inert and bloodless about the
poem. I finally realized that I’d been avoiding—or treating
too obliquely—the specific human weather at the center
of the poem.
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 8, Number 2
Copyright © 2013
by Leah Browning, Editor.
All future rights to material
published in the Apple
Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors