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Eliot White is a writer and educator from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, SundogLit, Fledgling Rag, The Skinny Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Eliot has organized a monthly reading series called The Turning Wheel, led writing workshops at PCAD's Center for Creative Exploration, served as editor of The Triangle, a literary blog/website, and was a poetry reader for Third Point Press, an online literary magazine. His first collection of poems, Perpetual Motion Machines, is forthcoming from I. Giraffe Press in the fall of 2023.

Escape Velocity

My mother, grinning. Her hair falling over 
her brow in astonishment. And her look
so far off it’s as if she’s reached 
escape velocity. Once so devoted 
to the sun, she unspools herself 
from the gridlock of orbit, gravity’s 
push-pull having lost its stasis.  
The warped stability of it never working 
the way you imagined it would. 
And it is so good to be free.
What now? she wonders. 
What about these days yet to be lived? 
What about the moon? What about Alaska? 
Winter in the southern hemisphere? 
The first sip of water from a mountain spring? 
The varieties of bread in foreign countries?
And what about me? What about the idea
of me I have kept separate from the world?
What about the shadow of me sleeping
all those days in the darkened bedroom?
What about a thousand sunrises on the 
thousands of other planets I’m heading for?

Originally Published in Fledgling Rag.

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