who stumbled over mourning doves hidden
beneath unpruned Chinese yews
over pet rat Charles over the damp summer
hump in the carpet
who stumbled through scales in third-grade chorus
was asked to mouth the words
and never told my proud parents as I stumbled after them
my shoes eating my socks heel first.
I was the one
who stumbled over my lines after Kenny forgot his
and one by one the whole cast followed suit
until we realized we’d just skipped the entire second act
who was wise enough at my wedding not to risk
walking down an aisle
but not wise enough to choose a fitting groom
who stumbled at the cemetery my hand full of earth
and was grateful beyond expression
not to have fallen in with my mother.
Then I stumbled
into you one Christmas Eve knocked the cup of sorrows
out of your hand
and threw your arms around me for the rest
of my bumbling life.
Lillo Way's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in New Orleans Review, Poet Lore, Tampa Review, Tar River Poetry, Madison Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Poetry East, Yemassee, Santa Fe Literary Review, among others. Seven of Way's poems are included in anthologies. Her full-length manuscript, “Wingbone,” was a finalist for the 2015 Barry Spacks Poetry Prize from Gunpowder Press.