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Kersten Christianson

Kersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moon-gazing, high school English-teaching Alaskan. She serves as poetry editor of the quarterly journal Alaska Women Speak. Her latest collection of poetry, Curating the House of Nostalgia, will publish in 2020 (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions). Kersten holds an MFA from the University of Alaska. Kersten’s collection, Curating the House of Nostalgia, is available from Sheila-Na-Gig Editions: Read more of her work at:


When sibling roughhousing
spilled into quiet spaces, our
grandmother gave us the shoo
to walk our energy outdoors,
to run maniacal barefoot circles

around her house and down her
manicured lawn, drop and roll
a succession of three slopes,
screaming to rest at the lip
of her quiet road. It is not so

unlike now, as an adult, to tumble
logical head over foolhardy heart,
to watch it plummet and climb
the sharp crags of a pandemic. Daily
numbers record valleys, spikes

of energetic spread. Mandates
of shelter, travel, mask my hopeful
heart. It is not so unlike the measure
of distance between one town to another,
or age, or intention. Love makes me

green, too hopeful, but when he thinks
July will offer a window, I crack
it open a bit more, invite the freshness
of air into my Covid-leery heart, into
the part that wants to be with him.

If Only a Movie

I remember the scenes
from 80s movies where
anger in its slow boil
waltzed from its pot:
Sally Field as M’Lynn
in Steel Magnolias;

Kathy Bates as Evelyn
in Fried Green
Tomatoes. If only
my dance with grief
could be as infallible:
certain in its rhythms,

circles, casual arrivals,
slick departures.
But it’s not the stuff
of Hollywood gloss.
It returns, the hint
of a sneeze, backward

dip into time, scene,
and you are tucking
a gray streak of hair
behind my ear and
I am calling you to
pick up milk on your

way home from work.
Despair percolates a
nasty brew when all
you want is a rousing
burst of Towanda!
Move on.
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