Laura Madeline Wiseman: “Friendship Bracelet”


Maybe you wanted to share a snack, grapes or almonds—
and there, multiple rubber bands interwoven, a clasp,

twisting under your shoe, that two-toned design
to contrast the new muscle on the arm. Maybe it was

just another roadside diner in a small town’s strip—
and there in grit and motor oil, that forgotten accessory,

a bit broken, nothing spectacular. Maybe you hoped
to drink coffee over the news, something good

to ease the ache of the hard miles—and there, used
and likely discarded, but what’s treasure if not

found and free. There hasn’t been much, maybe
you said to the server, meaning the day’s search,

the act of finding anything that astonishes. So many
up and downs in Kentucky—and there, finally a symbol.

Laura Madeline Wiseman is the editor of two anthologies, Bared and Women Write Resistance, selected for the Nebraska 150 Sesquicentennial Book List. She is the recipient of the 2015 Honor Book Nebraska Book Award, a Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship, and an Academy of American Poets Award. Her book Drink won the 2016 Independent Publisher Bronze Book Award for poetry. Her latest book is Through a Certain Forest (BlazeVOX [books] 2017).

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