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Noon Edition

Fort Steuben

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Beth Lodge-Rigal is the Creative Director of Women Writing for (a) Change/The Writing for a Change Foundation of Bloomington. For 16 years, she’s been dedicated to building safe and courageous spaces for women, girls, and all individuals to create and connect through the art of writing and deep listening.

She’s an award- winning songwriter, a life-long writer, learner, social entrepreneur, Mother, Partner, and Leader.

Welcome to the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Beth, what poems have you brought us today?


These are Poems for my Father

Mysterious

How the body keeps breathing
as the brain dies,
your watery kelp dance
arms wave -waver
reach for whatever sunlight
is visible through the murk
of your drowning.

I do not understand
or crave
would never choose
this
ever.

Yet it seems sometimes
we are asked
to trawl the lagoon,
witness without
diving in
to save

this most brutal
beautiful
moment.

Find the word yes
in the depths of
an ocean of
no


Ft. Steuben
At 19, he painted the Ft. Steuben Bridge.
Long summer days suspended over the Ohio
he gazed East to Weirton, West to Steubenville.
The boy who became the man who is my
Dad, hauled buckets, rolled and feathered
lead-grey
paint morning to night alongside
other boys and river valley day laborers.
I think of them with their pulley boards,
their slim rope, arms brown under grime,
in the perpetual shower of mill-town soot;
how tied-in they were back then to
a few dollars for danger. Better to be mid-air
above the water than in the mouth of the
blast furnace down wind. What would he make
of it now? The bridge that eventually led him
away but never let him rest, to labor
his whole life as if suspended by fragile strands,
whether walking us across the tightrope
of our Algebra homework or reckoning with
his good luck on the other side of his bruised
beginnings. He crossed that bridge, rarely looks back
but knows how to clean a brush, rig a pulley,
balance in high places, and still against most odds,
catch what falls.


Sandbreak

As if wire and pinewood
unspooled to a vanishing point
along a foamy shoreline
could keep the drifting dune
in place.

As when gulls fly inland, summer
people leave, every season has its
storm. I see you letting go at the edges
looking out beyond everything
--at steel waters, sobering skies.

As if we had more time to make
ourselves known to the world,
to one another, assume we’ll remake
what floats away—our lives in surges;
our tattered windsocks, our weathered homes.

As we ponder this together on the lip
of the last wave, our feet disappear
in clutches of cool sand. We hold hands,
brace for balance, seek safety in interiors.
Our fragility affirmed, we promise return.


You're been listening to poetry by Beth Lodge-Rigal on the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.

Beth Lodge-Rigal is the Creative Director of Women Writing for (a) Change/The Writing for a Change Foundation of Bloomington. For 16 years, she’s been dedicated to building safe and courageous spaces for women, girls, and all individuals to create and connect through the art of writing and deep listening.

She’s an award-winning songwriter, a life-long writer, learner, social entrepreneur, Mother, Partner, and Leader.

Beth reads "Mysterious," "Ft. Steuben," and "Sandbreak" on the is edition of The Poets Weave. These poems are dedicated to her father.

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