In Woonsocket, the toy stores and the dust
of summer in the heat say nothing,
and certain rivers in winter rains say less.
Stories are like streets by low warehouses,
tin sheds, loading docks with corrugated
roofs where a watchman flips through grizzled
pinup magazines, as if soon the dented
womb of stories might be found--this centerfold,
that wrong turn, this right reply, that socket
of regret--and a certain swinging lightbulb
over one slit armchair in the guard shack
might blossom and tell someone what to do
after his rounds in buildings with no windows
or on long streets of rain, deep in Woonsocket.
About the Author: Richard Widerkehr earned his M.A. from Columbia University and won two Hopwood first prizes for poetry at the University of Michigan. He has one collection of poems, The Way Home (Plain View Press) and three chapbooks, including Her Story of Fire (Egress Studio Press). Tarragon Books published his novel, Sedimental Journey, about a geologist in love with a fictional character. Recent work has appeared in Rattle, Arts & Letters, Bellevue Literary Review, Floating Bridge Review, Gravel, Naugatuck River Review, and Cirque. Other poems are forthcoming in Measure, Chiron Review, The Binnacle, Avatar, and Mud Season Review. He’s worked as a writing teacher and, later, as a case manager with the mentally ill. His new book of poems, In The Presence Of Absence, will come out from MoonPath Press in September, 2017