My new poems podcast, Words by Winter, can 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