Beth Copeland

Friends Post Photos of the Sky

Morning shots marbled copper
and indigo, evening pearled

silver and mauve, thunder
storms, forked

lightning, the moon
in all its moods—musk

melon, milk-faced,
slightly askew. Years

ago, shoving a stroller
through snow, grocery

and diaper bags slung
over my shoulder—I looked up

as if from under water
at the sky’s white-capped

waves, wondering if
there was a surface above

where I could breathe. Yesterday,
feeling sad, a friend

said, Go outside
and look at the stars. So

I stepped into the silence, staring
up at lights shining

with the heat of a million
unanswered prayers.



Silver Alert


Someone’s mother
or father wandered

off as Daddy once
shuffled down a sidewalk

in his slippers and PJs, as Mother
drove after her license

expired and couldn’t find
her way back. Morning light

strikes chrome
on the car ahead; silver, from specks

of quartz in asphalt, glitters. Half
way across the Cape Fear

River Bridge, I’m grateful I don’t
have to answer another

call about escapes, falls, or trips
to the ER. They’re missing, but

not lost, remembered
and at rest.





Beth Copeland


Beth Copeland’s book Transcendental Telemarketer received the runner-up award in the North Carolina Poetry Council’s 2013 Oscar Arnold Young Award for best poetry book by a North Carolinian. Her book Traveling through Glass received the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award. Copeland teaches English at Methodist University.