Anna Weaver

pushing my luck

She’s got big plans…that don’t include you.
                                      ~Tom Waits, “You Can’t Unring a Bell”

At Night in Light Fog by Felix Vallatton

Sometimes a city rolls out her sidewalks,
letting my boot heels tap the soft places

in search of a vein. I walk loud like I know
the place and I startle the pigeons.

If I’m feeling lucky, I make eye contact
with homeless men until I’m out of dollars.

Manhole covers and cathedrals speak
to me—foreign accents on a common tongue

I was not so much taught, but born to. If I’m lucky,
they’ll lead me to the city’s scattered secrets—

hedgerows of lilac or an abandoned factory.
A saxophone on the courthouse steps.

Better yet, construction crews tearing up
the streets. Once, in Minneapolis, I watched

a big man in a yellow harness and a hard hat
get lowered into the vessels that run underneath.

In a lucky city, the buildings loom gently
like a worried friend, and I will dare to walk

farther than my lover would care to imagine.
He doesn’t understand how good I am at this.

Wouldn’t forgive me for the man on the bus
who said, “I’d ask you to join me for dinner,
but you look like you have plans.”


About the writer:
Anna Weaver writes as a former soldier, a mind imprinted under Oklahoma sky, and a woman “with loyalties scattered over the landscape.” Her poems have appeared in Connotation Press, O-Dark-Thirty, One, and elsewhere—earning nominations for the Pushcart and other prizes. She has performed her poetry in 27 states.

Image: At Night in Light Fog by Felix Vallatton (1864-1925). Medium unspecified. Size unspecified. 1913. Public domain.