Vernal Equinox

By Kari Gunter-Seymour

Featured Art: Equinox by Eugene James McFarland

I’ve been thinking about last times
I never knew were the last—
grandma cooing me unconscious,
daddy whistling me home to supper,
my toddler’s toothless grin, tiny fingers
clenching wildflowers, the last time
I prayed, desperate for those departed,
how they flit ahead of us, flying.

Tonight the Big Dipper balances
on its handle. Tepid tree frogs peep
songs of resurrection. One morning soon,
I’ll eat a good breakfast, fill a water bottle,
pack a book, walk the fencerow into the holler,
rest beneath the eagles’ favored perch,
shake off this inexplicable sadness,
two cinderblocks where lungs ought to be,
let spring hold on to me for a while.

Kari Gunter-Seymour wrote A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen,
which earned her the 2020 Ohio Poet of the Year Award. Her poems have been
featured in Verse Daily, Rattle, World Literature Today, and The New York
. She is the founder of the Women of Appalachia Project and editor of the
WOAP anthology series, Women Speak. She is a recipient of a 2021 Academy of
American Poets Laureate Fellowship and is currently the Poet Laureate of Ohio.

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