January 20 2017

Peg Lauber

The closer I get to home,
the rarer the air gets as I
run and stumble, the sirens
winding up and down. I fling
open the door and run
for the basement, not sure
what might be coming, huddling
on the concrete floor, leaning
against the damp walls
not afraid of the looming
furnace as I was as a child,
nor of the ever present spiders,
but afraid of what is outside
in the air, in the clouds.

The rusted tools that hang
where they’ve always hung
on the pegboard, only today
appear as weapons. I take
a hammer in one hand,
a linoleum cutter in the other
as ready as I’ll ever be
for whatever comes.

Peg Carlson Lauber, a longtime Eau Claire resident, has published poetry since 1963 and taught in colleges for 40 years. Her latest books are New Orleans Suite and The Whooping Crane Chronicles. More from Peg.

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