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Kari Gunter-Seymour: Last Night the Chime Of Tree Frogs

Granny Woman dances

under breeze-shivering branches,

her skirts a waltz of wings,

mouth full of stories.

She has emptied her house of men.

.

Out the side of her eye

the soft blur of rabbit,

and watchful dusk,

air ripe with herbs

and tinctures, the echo

of gasping roots.

.

She is the nighthawk,

sprung from chalky shell, 


issuing her raspy bee-yoot

for all the names she gives the night,

surviving passages so narrow

they felt like birth canals,

every dawn she can remember

crushed between her teeth.

.

She will cradle you, 

deliver you

from one mud to the next.

Anointer, holder

of upended petals

and misplaced halos,

I saw her in the dark morning,

glimmer and dust.


From A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen by Kari Gunter-Seymour (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions 2020).

Kari Gunter-Seymour is the Poet Laureate of Ohio.

Three mountain women spinning yarn, 1939. The healers have traditionally served mountain communities. TENNESSEE STATE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES

7 comments on “Kari Gunter-Seymour: Last Night the Chime Of Tree Frogs

  1. Barbara Huntington
    September 17, 2021

    I have reason to believe my great grandma used herbs in Germany

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rose Mary Boehm
    August 16, 2021

    Oh, how much I LOVE your work, Kari. Well you know that. But this poem is particularly dear to me, because the granny women in deepest, darkest, rural German – my granny women – were the same. Loving you with rough hands, sneaking you a treat when nobody was looking (couldn’t appear weak now, could they), and with gruff voices and defiance: “We said it when the Nazis were in power we say it now with the Bosheviks. What more can they do to us?” Honest, brave, and ‘ emptied their houses of men.” How I loved them.

    Liked by 3 people

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