Wednesday, 24 March 2021

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.

* * * * *

" I Come From A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen" was first published in
Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Volume XII and is part of Kari Gunter-Seymour’s poetry collection A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions 2020).

Kari Gunter-Seymour’s poetry collections include A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions 2020) and Serving (Crisis Chronicles Press 2018/2020-Expanded Edition). Her work is firmly attached to her home soil and is an examination of the long-lasting effects of stereotype and false narratives surrounding Appalachians. Her poems appear in numerous journals and publications including Verse Daily, Rattle, Still, The NY Times and on her website: She is the 2020 Ohio Poet of the Year and Poet Laureate of Ohio.


  1. First reading stung my heart. Then I found "Everything alive aches for more." I'm still nodding, yes.