Witness | Kristina Erny

2 mins read

Stand right there. I’m tired of bad poems about 
nature. I’m over motherhood and cook 

tops and sweeping up again and again. 
I want to walk outside under the beamed 

overpass without thinking about all
the ways it could fall on my head. 

I want kids who listen dammit. I’ve tried
grappling with issues that are much too 

complicated for me to understand.
Yesterday, I got over it, and yet 

today, it’s the same. For example, it would be
nice to sip tea and not burn my lip, take 

a warm bath, rose epsom salts, a sheet mask.
Some believe today will be better than 

yesterday, better than the day before
but mostly we are nostalgic for 

some dim but tender circle of light. 
I am witness to my own life. So what. 

I eat memory post-dinner like a mint.
And sometimes I hum, am human. 

Kristina Erny is a third culture poet who grew up in South Korea. Her poetry has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Yemassee, Bluestem, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of Arizona, and her work has been the recipient of the Tupelo Quarterly Inaugural Poetry Open Prize and the Ruskin Art Club Poetry Award. Her manuscript Wax of What’s Left was a finalist for Tupelo Press’s Dorset Prize, Ahsahta Sawtooth Poetry award, and the Colorado Prize for Poetry. After many years of teaching internationally, she currently lives in Kentucky with her husband, sons, and daughter.