What Rises – a poem by Katie Kalisz

What Rises

The sun, ever earlier
and earlier, a bluebird’s 
orange belly to the feeder,
a robin beak with a worm,
spikes of iris, 
a heron from the mist
off the river.
Flags on mailboxes
up and down the street,
steam from our pot of oatmeal,
the May wood pile with ash
and cottonwood.
Welt of poison ivy 
on my ankle, Muscari 
in the lawn, and dandelions, 
rhubarb stalks, purple heads of asparagus.
A second chicken coop 
the neighbors erect and paint blue.
Theodore, the chipmunk, to the 
deck railing, for orange peels
and apple cores, the dog’s rear end
in a yoga pose, my rear end
in a yoga pose, my son
into a Norway spruce,
the river to meet the bank, 
masks to overtake faces, 
the death toll.
And at last, 
the white moon, 

Katie Kalisz is a Professor in the English Department at Grand Rapids Community College, where she teaches composition and creative writing. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Loyola University of Chicago, and Queens University of Charlotte. Quiet Woman, her first book, was a finalist for the 2018 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. She is the recipient of a 2023 Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, and her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their three children. 

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