This Kind of Tired

by Kari Gunter-Seymour


Red-barked eyes
reflect a broke down sign
announcing no vacancy,
your last nerve splayed like a long lost
glove tacked to a fence post, edges brittle,
a trickle of something singed

invading your nostrils. Voices,
not your own, crawl the air,
mimic a dying breeze, sip thin breaths,
your youth fading like tarnished sumac
along a face of listless hillock,
one by one words leave you.

Daylight dies in fitful fragments—
a tone of sky, a foreboding of pines,
wind full of branches, leaving
no holes in the blackness.

Kari Gunter-Seymour is the Poet Laureate of Ohio and the founder/executive director of the Women of Appalachia Project, as well as editor of its anthology series, Women Speak. Her current collections include Alone in the House of My Heart (Ohio University 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, World Literature Today, The New York Times and Poem-a-Day.