Nebraska 19 – ‘At 14’ by Don Welch

To be shy,
to lower your eyes
after making a greeting,

to know
wherever you go
you’ll be called on,

to fear
whoever you’re near
will ask you,

to wear
the softer sides of the air
in rooms filled with angers,

your ship
always docked
in transparent slips

whose wharves
are sheerer than membranes.

Poem copyright ©2008 by Don Welch. Reprinted from “When Memory Gives Dust a Face,” by Don Welch, published by Lewis-Clark Press, 2008

Another Nebraskan poet, I like Welch’s empathy for teenage life.

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