Kari Wergeland


A row of soda bottles gleam
like smooth emeralds behind glass.
They are embedded into a chic front
serving this busyness:
a team of female softball players
wearing crisply pressed uniforms and clean athletic shoes,
sporting the name Cal;
and an older black woman—
smartly dressed, filled with light—
chatting with an elderly white
man, emanating humor;
a blonde girl shouldering a Disney backpack,
her sparkly sneakers moving past gate after gate;
an Asian woman reading a potboiler—
putting it down—resting
her feet on some luggage—
reading again
near a family of three
with one on the way; and more
lighthearted faces
than not, surprising in light
of the images flickering on the screens above,
streaming poverty.
On TV they say people are out of work.
So where do the travelers come from?
These lives moving along conveyor belts,
forming molecules of waiting,
then splitting,
breaking apart in bursts of energy,
moving away,
flying into the air,


Kari Wergeland has received recent acceptances from The Catamaran Literary Reader, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review and The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review. She works as a librarian for Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, CA, and lives part-time on the Oregon Coast. For more information, please visit



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