Shelby Weisburg

there’s a stone in the front yard of their red house.

the soil under it is common and full of worms,

and they overturn that stone every morning,

so gentle and easy with routine,

to see life’s beckoning rawness under it.

they grew up when they truly loved that stone:

they had something to lose,

something so devastatingly casual,

a stone some worms some soil a house.


so they sing, we want we want we want our stone

we want to get in our cars and drive 

past what we know, what belongs to us.

always already forever there was us and our stones,

the stones in our yards, the yards of our homes,

there our red house, there the neighbor’s blue one,

down the street our school, our church,

our people who live all around us, who sing the same

always already forever there was us and ours.


what they will do for anything, for one more stone

one more car in the garage, one more yard on the block.

they will turn over their stones,

dissolve themselves in the common soil,

place their stones where their faces used to be,

sign their names away for something so casual.

the soil under the stone not just soil anymore.

because they said it belonged to them,

they said it writhed dormant with life’s rawness.


Shelby Weisburg is currently a third-year student at Willamette University, where she is majoring in English with a focus in creative writing and expects to graduate in May 2020. She has been previously published in Oakland Arts Review, Cornell’s Rainy Day, FLARE: The Flagler Review, and Blacklist Journal. When she’s not writing, she works in the Oregon State Legislature, watches re-runs of SNL, and enjoys bouldering. She calls Colorado home.