For Bethany, who returned to serve where little, and much, has changed.
. . . A vague and constant desire for something
that does not and probably cannot exist,
for something other than the present, a turning . . .
— A. F. G. Bell
Pedals propel the Ferris wheels
that lift her from the fog
of foreigners descended on the beach.
Atlantis has risen where fishing boats,
she was, once rocked to sleep.
Palms, plumeria, groves of mangoes
shimmer in the heat
like the husks of beetles
she had pinned from these fields
with tinier hands.
Here their burning calves had wrapped ’round
the broad backs of bawling calves,
had raced, leaving wedding-rice showers of sand
where hotels stand
like glittering temples.
At the guest-house tonight,
they will ask if she’s been here.
With pale-face and tongue-Thai’d,
she’ll evade. The AC breaks likes waves
where the cows once could watch them.
Within walls that were not, what to say?
Melissa Weaver lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she manages to tend to a steady husband, a preschooler, toddler, and baby, an unruly backyard garden, and occasionally a poem or two. A former English and English Language Learner teacher, she seeks to be deeply rooted in her neighborhood, building relationships with kids and families who have come from all over the world. There’s a place for her at the Trinity’s table, and she is learning that’s enough. She and her family find fellowship at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church. Her work has appeared in The Christian Century, Mothers Always Write, The Anabaptist Journal of Australia and New Zealand, and Transforming, a publication of Virginia Mennonite Missions.