Mysterious Ways

By Kari Gunter-Seymour

Nine weeks, no monthlies,
my body a nestling’s perch,
a tremoring tree, leaning

into a southeaster, hard luck
and poverty licking red-hot
flames against my bent back.

I scrimped, saved, still forty dollars
short of the cash I’d need to set
me and that little bird free.

No stranger to a bowed head,
I got straight to the appeal, laid out
my endgame and trading points.

The Lord coughed up two twenties
by way of a birthday card, sent postage due
from my granny, who wrote at length

about her late-night vision.
She saw me old, alone in the dark,
crying out for some little bird.

Kari Gunter-Seymour is a ninth generation Appalachian, the Poet Laureate of Ohio, and an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. Her collections include Alone in the House of My Heart (Swallow Press, 2022) and A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen (Sheila Na Gig Editions, 2020), winner of the 2020 Ohio Poet of the Year Award. Her work has been featured on Verse Daily, and in World Literature Today and The New York Times.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s