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Kersten Christianson/Alaska Women Speak

KristinKersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moon-gazing, Alaskan. When not exploring the summer lands and dark winter of the Yukon, she lives in Sitka, Alaska. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing (University of Alaska Anchorage) and recently published her first collection of poetry Something Yet to Be Named (Aldrich Press, 2017). Kersten is the poetry editor of the quarterly journal Alaska Women Speak. She co-edits the journal with prose editor, Gabrielle Raffuse. Our Mission: Alaska women have stories to tell. Alaska Women Speak is the journal devoted to their expression of ideas, literature and art.

To the Bare Salmonberry Branch in Winter Cold

–After James Wright’s “To the Saguaro Cactus Tree in the Desert Rain”

I’m not certain how tiny juncos
twitter and flit through your maze
of stalks.

I have tried to extricate myself from sharp-thorned
memory, that seems

tangled and impossible at night.
I wish to be the dark shadow
of raven, I wish I were
the slink of river otter
and the perched patience of eagle.
I have no idea how you summon
your spring greens,
blush of June bloom.
I shiver in winter near the sea,
the often rain,
so I quit.

Teach me to hope again.


Knocking at the door
I am the unwanted friend

running my mouth –
hot breath in your ear –

of this memory, or that.
Smashing mirrors,

dropping plates,
tossing marbles

in your walking path.
I tiptoe in your cobwebbed

mind, puppet string
your thoughts into believing

nothing has changed, open
the door to everything that has.


Alaska Women Speak

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