Isaiah 54:5 (A Self-Portrait)

Isaiah 54:5 (A Self-Portrait)

by Kari Ann Ebert

Kari Ebert_A Turn in the Path

He packed up the years in one suitcase

at summer’s bloom    left everything undone

I stood    still & wooden    in the empty yard

exhausted by the sudden drought


The grass is too high now

Midsummer sun paints its lacquer

on my temples    on my lip and neck

I’ve waited until tall blades bare their teeth

snap at my kneecaps

The anyone-can-do-it-

just-start-her-up-and-go instructions he left

fester under my tongue like vinegar

I turn the key   flinch at its growl


The rider    all rusty & rife with demons

lurches down the lawn    chews out a row

so straight    so sure of itself

until the sputter & grind wind down to a stop

refuse to budge another inch

The heat rises      overwhelms me with its tide

Fury crawls up my spine     I take a swing at the sky


My Maker    My Creator

You promised to be my holy husband in his stead

yet it is I alone who pulls at the sludge    wrestles with the ancient blade

slices my finger open like his mother’s cherry cheesecake

You promised to redeem the time    to make it mine once more

yet the moth and locusts return each harvest

all that remain are weeds & serpents’ nests

all that remains is this rage


Hearing no response I fall to the ground

Clippings & sweat form a sheen     cover my skin like jade

I sit in the lotus position    as still as stone

listen as the breeze rustles across the short path I made

Winner of the 2018 Gigantic Sequins Poetry Contest, Kari Ann Ebert’s poetry appeared or is forthcoming in Mojave River Review, Gravel, The Broadkill Review, and Gargoyle among others. She is working on her first poetry collection, Alphabet of Mo(u)rning. Kari lives in Delaware and has two children who also write.