The following selections are taken from Lorraine's book "Holding Tight To Gravity's Tail".

Into The Wind

you just have to put your head down,
grit your teeth, walk into the wind

no matter what’s happening
around you, inside you.

you have to let your eyes glaze over,
see nothing, because you cannot bear it.

you must let the blood run—
let it run from your mouth
after biting your tongue.

When reason fails
and the veins of love are bone dry,
rise up then, with a great rush of wings.

Burn the feet of the enemy,
rip out their tongues,
set them free to study peace.


she doesn’t know him at all
though he sits in the same room.

It is, she says, as if he went away
and never returned.

Sometimes she misses him
though he sleeps
at her side.

It is, she says, as if she’s alone
only more alone than that.

At night her dreams twist
‘round the moon;
she never dances now,

rarely speaks aloud—
there are few words left
and they’ll only fall, frail

and unheard,
into the deep chasm
that has claimed her life.

The least he could do, she says,
is give back her heart.

A Soldier Once Stood

He doesn’t use his legs now,
he scoots around
on his bum, lifting himself with arms
tight as barbed wire.
He’s got new legs and they work
pretty well, but he says it’s hard
to think about them in the morning
when he first gets up because
he wants to pee
and doesn’t want the fitting
and buckling and mostly,
the remembering.
Sometimes, you can catch him
wheeling around town
in his motorized chair,
the one his brother helped him
modify with tuck ‘n roll upholstery,
black leather, red trim,
and as much chrome as they
could fit—
a ‘64 Bug’s battery and tail lights give
his wheels more visibility after dark.
He says he sure misses quiet,
when it’s finally cool after
the heat of day
and even birds are still,
but that pure silence hangs
just out of reach;
he can’t get free
of rockets and bullets,
the scream and chew.

Vagabond’s Child

it can’t be helped
it’s in the blood
runs through the veins
like liquor
street drugs
or wanting rough sex
with a stranger

The heart is
unable to stay
more than a few hours
a day
maybe a night
to pledge allegiance
to place
or person
seeking the illusive
or the righteous
or love
or even
just something like it


His words
tangle in her ear,
his breath is warm

on her neck.
I’d slide right into you
if I could.

I’d curl around your heart,
hug your ribs,
let your blood

wash over me.
I’d let you carry me inside you,
and never need again.

Her breath catches,
her lungs suddenly tight.
Her heart

just before
panic sets in.

She Tells Herself

she only wants to know
if he is safe, doing well—

but she really wants to know
if he thinks of her, if he remembers
when the two of them were us and we.

Does Sorrow wrap blue arms
around him on rainy nights,
as he drinks his whiskey neat,

or does another long-legged girl
slip into the room and curl next to him,
lamplight chasing through her hair?