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Kari Gunter-Seymour

kari.jpgTwice a pushcart nominee, Kari Gunter-Seymour’s chapbook Serving was chosen runner up in the 2016 Yellow Chair Review Annual Chapbook Contest. She holds a BFA in graphic design, an MA in commercial photography and is an Instructor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. She is Poet Laureate for Athens, OH, and her poems can be found in numerous literary journals – Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, Stirring, Main Street Rag – as well as on her website:                    


Sunday afternoon. Taylor Swift’s latest nonsense
caterwauls the radio, a third-string agitation,
compared to my son trying to bootlick his daughter
into jumping in our pond off the high dive,
nine feet up a steep planked ladder.

A pinch of a girl, she just this week turned six
and I wonder where that rascal in him comes from.
I blame his father, long gone and good riddance.
My true husband, a gem, who knows me all too well,
taps his sandaled foot against my pinky-toe,
slightly shakes his head, because my granddaughter
just cold-shouldered her daddy, ran to fetch
her fishing pole instead.

Though I don’t want it, those twelve soccer boys,
clear the other side of the world, are on my mind.
Trapped miles inside a cave, tides rising, huddled
and hungry, licking water drops from crusty walls.
Last week, Navy SEALs rose from the depths
like apparitions, brought pep talks, promises,
concocting on the fly, ways those boys, who don’t
even know how to swim, can strap on a face mask,
practice a few strokes, MacGyver their way free.

We cool ourselves in the water, ride four-wheelers,
reach for icy Coca-Colas, popsicles, slices of melon.
We’re fixing to wind down when breaking
news grabs the radio.Christ almighty
four of those boys made it out, others
not far behind, SEALs at their backs, urging.

Soon after, my wily son afloat below the dive,
that plucky grandbaby of mine sets down her pole,
climbs the ladder, leaps like a fish-nymph,
hoots as she breaks the surface.


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