NC Literary Hall of Fame



Waiting on Unknown Roads by Sara Claytor

Main Street Rag
$14.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-59948-538-6
November, 2015
Available from the publisher

"In this stunning collection, Sara Claytor perfectly captures the archetype of the Wise Crone—not to be confused with any sort of pathetic figure, but a human being at the pinnacle of her earthly power—a woman who dances on her own grave because she hasn’t wasted a moment of her life. Embracing love, loss, joy, and sorrow with equal ferocity, these poems have much to teach us if we take the time to ‘listen’."
—Terri Kirby Erickson, author of A Lake of Light and Clouds

"Sara Claytor was born on the wild side of words. She has taken her life and spun her worlds into clear-eyed amazement on the page. And given it to us wrapped in gold and tied in silver. What joy! What tears! What magic! Nothing worthy has, or ever will, escape Claytor’s bright quickness."
—Ruth Moose, author of Doing It at the Dixie Dew

"Whether writing about lost loved ones, magical childhood places, a bag lady, the various faces of God, or one’s own slow demise, Sara Claytor connects us to other human beings, and gracefully does so. With roads into the past where wounds 'still glimmer…/like broken glass,' some poems are heartbreaking. All journeys are uncertain and Claytor keeps us reading to discover what waits around the bend. This is an engaging book."
—Peter Makuck, author of Long Lens (New & Selected Poems)

Gladys Knows Her Fate

No one cares about an old naked woman on the beach,
her legs, stiff as if spray-starched,
spread like a wishbone.
She eats Roquefort cheese and peaches,
juice lacquering her breasts in luminous blotches.
No one cares that her tits look like melted taffy,
her wisps of pubic hair like prickly grass.
She licks her fingers, flicks a peach pit into the ocean’s edge.

No matter the sun, the glare, the wind
whipping her hair into gray spaghetti strings.
No matter gasps, giggles from passers-by shuffling sand.
Unconcerned. Proud. Expectant.
She waits for her last lover, Neptune,
to rise from the sea,
erase her blotchy-veined skin,
grant her iridescent mermaid fins,
hand her a lobster cell phone
so she can dial God.

A native Tar Heel and former teacher of literature, writing, and speech/drama communications, Sara holds two graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Recipient of numerous poetry prizes, short stories have received first place in Sensations Magazine competition; at the Virginia Highlands Festival, and The Charlotte Writers' Club. Poems and fiction have appeared in over 130 publications including a short story reprinted as one of twelve top stories of the last five years in The Pisgah Review. She has worked as a fiction editor for a small press and as co-editor of the former internet journal The Moonwort Review. Her published books include: Reviving the Damsel Fish, Memory Bones, Carrboro Poetica, and Howling on Red Dirt Roads which was one of two books recognized by the Poetry Council of North Carolina for the year 2008. For the seventh year, she coordinates the North Carolina Poetry Society Reading Series at McIntyre’s Fine Books near Chapel Hill, which brings in poets from across the state for monthly readings.

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