Jumping to the ground from the
open door of a Huey,
Steve told me he counted one, two,
having heard somewhere that someone
every four seconds on average.
was one of Vietnam’s first
casualties. Years later,
if they told him at AA that the
sky was red,
he said he’d believe it in
order to stay sober,
and not sink back into drugs and
drink, winding up dead.
I turned to him often for advice.
Falling in love
he said was like rocket fuel—good
for the boost
it gave to push you through and
relationship’s first frictions—if
you weren’t seduced
by its power. A snare to beware
of. This, while
he polished a customer’s
fretboard carefully, his smile
making an attitude of gratitude
look relatively easy.
Weld’s poems have been collected in two chapbooks, Country I Would
Settle In (Pudding House, 2004), and Who Cooks For You?
(Kattywompus, 2012.), and in many small magazines such as Southern
Poetry Review, Evansville Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily,
The Concord Saunterer, Friends Journal, Blue Unicorn,
Canary, etc. A collection, Seringo, will be published
later this year by White Violet Press (Kelsay Books.) He’s worked as an
administrator for a nonprofit agency that provides treatment for youth
experiencing mental health challenges, and lives in the Finger Lakes region of
upstate New York.