The Weeds In This Garden

Long ago, I built a self outside myself.
I ate what my family ate, answered

to my name, but when they said let us pray,
I kept my eyes open. There is a price

to be paid for resistance. Whatever
you call me, I have called myself

worse, invented words made up
of letters from my own name.

Now the backs of my hands, all bone
and strain, I think cannot be mine.

Who hasn’t killed herself at least once,
only to grow into someone needier?

Who hasn’t bent with her wounds
to a mutinous patch, weeds

shooting up like false rhubarb,
every wisp, stem, and sodden pith

a testament? Who hasn’t scratched
at the question of what it means to be here?


Copyright © 2018 by Kari Gunter-Seymour. This poem originally appeared in Still: The Journal, Fall 2018. Used with permission of the author.