Poem of the Week | March 08, 2021

This week’s Poem of the Week is “Wading” by Lucas Daniel Peters!

Lucas Daniel Peters is a queer poet from rural Indiana. He received his MFA in poetry from Syracuse University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Greensboro Review, The Laurel Review, Midwest Review, Southern Humanities Review, Southern Indiana Review, & is a grant recipient through United States Artists. He currently lives in Albany, NY.



I’m glad today is Friday. Here. On the farm.
Lying on my back.
Just earshot of the meadow.
Being heated by the radiation afterglow
of the thousands of planes above.
With their hundreds of stories that either go heard or unheard.
When it could only take decades for this place
to turn to stone. Be submerged by global warming.
Fossilized. Excavated. Hallowed
from warm rot. Then polished of all grime & sot.
Museums always exist in the future.
Because luck travels across centuries, not days.
So of course I’m glad today is Friday.
It’s like a dream.
& in the dream—wherever I am—the sun is out too.
& so all year long everyone wakes up early
while I sleep past noon . . . Because in the dream
we no longer think of death beds or widow shakers. Or the difference between
worship & passion. We forget
the people who we’ve so longed to be in our heads.
Because there’s no need for understanding in the dream.
The mythic-less constellations have taken over
for the tired ones. We’ve been offered flesh & given bones.
Been kept from vanishing.
Weighed down like some morning fog. Hovered over
like some small pebble hovers over a strong pillar of air.
Because in the dream you learn how to hurt your own feelings.
Because the dream is a small offering
—one too close to sacrifice . . .
It only seems when something’s too close do we forget what that heaven was . . .
Too close to worn corn-belts & plodding dog-days.
Too close to the dream house where I know every room. Can draw
every space. There’s architecture in the dream.
Intelligent design. The same thicket
closing off my view of the field. As if to instruct me
that the flat plain I always thought I knew
actually runs downhill.
Surprisingly. Lovingly. & without looking back.


Author’s Note

“Wading” is a poem in consideration of having and wanting, of the fullness of place, and those quiet awakenings we experience privately, internally, manacled by our histories. I began writing this poem after reading a Marianne Boruch essay in which she describes Weldon Kees’ oft-anthologized poem “1926” as ‘a miniature time machine, terribly elastic in its jumps and turns’—something I sought to emulate for its strange inclusion of past and present and future, a quality, I believe, inherent to all poetry, wherein our speaker always casts outward, sees beyond, for something—whatever that may be—only to find it in front of them all along, warped by time but still there still . . . In that sense I wonder if this is a happy poem for its implication: that to acknowledge is to be grateful, and quiet belief that there is some payoff for this endurance in watching.