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Friday, July 08, 2016


by Kari Gunter-Seymour

Diamond Reynolds (right) and her 4-year-old daughter. Both were in the car during Philando Castile's untimely death. Image source: Twitter via Ebony, July 7, 2016.

My granddaughter just turned four,
she holds as many fingers in the air and smiles,
our ancestral gap between her two front teeth,
her pearly face blushed.
She loves to sing and stands beside me
on a chair to help with food prep,
asks surprisingly complex questions
I often struggle to explain to her satisfaction.

I don’t know what to do with the headlines this morning.
I don’t want fear and hatred to win.
What words can I give you, Lavish,
that could possibly serve?

I can’t get out of my head,
your four-year-old girl comforting you,
you in handcuffs, partner dead.
Your courage, the facts, sir, the facts.
I see it. I hear it.
It's in my mouth, my lungs.
I cannot stop hearing her voice.
Four years old.
Four years old.
Four years, old.

A Pushcart nominee, Kari Gunter-Seymour holds a B.F.A. in graphic design and an M.A. in commercial photography. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in publications including Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, Main Street Rag, and The LA Times. She is the founder/curator of the “Women of Appalachia Project,” an arts organization (fine art and spoken word) she created to address discrimination directed at women living in Appalachia.