This Week’s Reflection

For your own practice and discussion.


by Kari Gunter-Seymour

Today I gave a guy a ride,
caught in a cloudburst
jogging down East Mill Street.
Skinny, backpacked, newspaper
a makeshift shield, unsafe
under any circumstances.
I don’t know what possessed me.

I make bad decisions, am forgetful,
cling to structure and routine
like static electricity to polyester,
a predicament of living under
the facade I always add to myself.

Said he needed to catch a GoBus,
shaking off droplets before climbing in.
He gabbed about Thanksgiving plans,
his mom’s cider-basted turkey,
grandma’s pecan-crusted pumpkin pie.

It was a quick, masked ride.
Bless you, he said, unfolding himself
from the car. No awkward goodbyes,
no what do I owe you? Just Bless you
and a backward wave.

At the stop sign, my fingers stroked
the dampness where he sat minutes before.
Sometimes life embraces you
so unconditionally, it shifts
your body from shadow
into a full-flung lotus of light.

from Rattle #72, Summer 2021
Tribute to Appalachian Poets

Young man's feet in tennis shoes standing in a rain puddle.