Lisa Wiley is an assistant professor of English at Erie Community College, in Buffalo, NY. She is the author of two chapbooks My Daughter Wears Her Evil Eye to School (The Writer’s Den, 2015) and Chamber Music (Finishing Line Press, 2013). Her poetry has appeared in Earth's Daughters, The Healing Muse, Medical Journal of Australia, Mom Egg Review and Silver Birch Press among others. She has read her work throughout New York state and serves as a regional judge for Poetry Out Loud.
1 poem by Lisa Wiley
Turtles Don’t Have Ears
but they do have tiny holes on the sides
of their head to feel vibrations —
sensitive, they hardly hear airborne sounds.
In my first poetry workshop,
a writer read about walking her pet turtle
around her New York apartment.
A little painted turtle like mine
with an old-fashioned name like Beatrice
to match her ancient neck and limbs.
Turtles arrived long before dinosaurs.
Slow and steady wins the race,
Beatrice could scamper if you turned away,
duck under a couch or piano,
so the writer tied a string leash around her neck.
What color was the string? a student obsessed.
Why does it matter?
I need to know to complete the image.
Maybe it was blue.
Our teacher just shook his head,
moved on to Piragua, a steamy poem
about two teens sharing shaved ice
on a hot Brooklyn porch
as a fire hydrant spouted
like the filter inside our tank.