Poem of the Week, by Kari Gunter-Seymour

My new poems podcast, Words by Wintercan be found here.

Yesterday my parents sent photos of the dairy farm on McGhee Hill Road, in downstate New York, where my father grew up and where my sisters and I spent a lot of time as children. I drove by it last year, after visiting my grandparents in Irondale Cemetery, pulled into the long driveway, and started to cry. So many memories all wrapped up in that old farmhouse, that barn. The still-there, although barely noticeable, remnants of my grandmother’s giant flower garden. Their dog Jody, who ate the same dinner we did every night, warmed up in his very own frying pan with a rich brown gravy. The upstairs bedroom with the yellow curtains where I slept and woke to the smell of scrambled eggs made only the way my grandmother made them. The bookcases filled with the heavy anthologies she taught at her second job as a high school English teacher. At age ten, when they sold the place, I cried and cried.

I Come From A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen, by Kari Gunter-Seymour
       

White oaks thrash, moonlight drifts
the ceiling, as if I’m under water.
Propane coils, warms my bones.

Gone are the magics and songs,
all the things our grandmothers buried—
piles of feathers and angel bones,

inscribed by all who came before.
When I was twelve, my cousins
called me ugly, enough to make it last.

Tonight a celebrity on Oprah
imagines a future where features
can be removed and replaced

on a whim. A moth presses wings
thin as paper against my window,
more beautiful than I could ever be.

Ryegrass raise seedy heads
beyond the bull thistle and preen.
Everything alive aches for more.

For more information on Kari Gunter Seymour, please check out her website: https://www.karigunterseymourpoet.com/bio

3 comments

  1. Diane Gottlieb · September 21, 2020

    Thank you so much for this, Alison! I came at just the right time. Next week, I am moving to FL from NY, where I’ve spent 56 of my 59 years and am feeling tons of anticipatory nostalgia. The power of place!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alisonmcghee · September 24, 2020

      Diane! That’s such a big move. . . my heart is with you. May all be well, and may you love your new home. XO

      Like

  2. Diane Gottlieb · September 24, 2020

    Thank you!
    XO

    Like

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