Poetry by Laurie Kolp

Laurie Kolp, author of Upon the Blue Couch and Hello, It's Your Mother, has poems in Stirring, Whale Road Review, Rust + Moth, Front Porch Journal, and more. An avid runner and lover of nature, Laurie lives and teaches in Southeast Texas.


All night the nightmare 
          will taunt. It will haunt 
the sleeper with death 
          songs thrashing to off-
beat redemption.

          Inhaling stagnant air, her
breath labors. Pregnant 
          trees thump against 
the gutter, erratic wind 
          a shrill, a gust. Thunder 

exhales like chronic smoker
          coaxing, volume 
maximized, the clank 
          of bones beneath 
her bed rattled 
          opposition. Lightning 

flashes, eyelids lift to face,  
          tempest thrusts 
shadows on gray wall, 
          a scream lost 
in evening storms.

Sometimes It’s Best to Take a Detour

I’ve been down this road since then, 
have completed her course 
pulled-over sober 
judged on straight line— 
so why is it so hard this time?
I try to think my way through it,
try to picture myself elsewhere
but I’m not good at directions.
If I pause and marvel
the carve of her seduction might
tempt me to take a wrong turn. 
There is no telling how long 
I’d wander in toxic remorse
lose everything, maybe die.
I reach my shaky hands 
toward the sky.
I never want to forget 
the heavy regret of one sip—
can there ever be just one? 
I am stuck to this seat, I will wait 
until the craving passes.