K.R. Morrison is a San Francisco based poet, drummer, and high school teacher who has been teaching English and Creative Writing for 18 years. Her first chapbook Cauldrons was recently published by Paper Press Books, within which “Her Altar” received a Pushcart nomination. Apart from reading at curations in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and New York, Morrison has featured throughout several Bay Area readings. Her work can be found in Switchback, Quiet Lightning, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Gasconade Review, Great Weather for Media, Spartan Press, the Lake County Bloom, and the Cooch Behar Anthology. Morrison featured on two popular Bay Area’s podcasts, Bitchtalk and Storied: San Francisco about being an educator, musician, and writer in a city that’s rapidly changing. Most recently, Morrison’s poetry was featured with NPR affiliate, “KALW’s New Arrivals” with Lisa Morehouse, the “Social Yet Distanced” podcast, the “Rooted in Poetry” podcast, and the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal’s poetry podcast. On Facebook: K.R. Morrison On Instagram: @krmorrisonpoet
Poems on Belonging
CHARLOTTE ANN today I walk barefoot for you I harbor homemade tortillas in my heart I never did taste, I bleed out this world loaded with a .38 like mother—like daughter I never know what waterbeds or polluted men need a lesson from a drifting bullet today I tell your stories who knows what’s true from the fiction your scars harbor for a fallen woman’s final justice the poet in me thinks that just like you make-believe and memory can make a homemade meal in 20 minutes to feed double shift mothers to nourish street sons, bruised daughters your ever evicted stove of legacies dancing in lard laden frying pans today I walk barefoot and the souls of my feet bleed so I walk stronger, I smile remembering a little girl you enlisted to rub your pirate black feet I walk barefoot on the bones of your words— you’re good, Babygirl. But your sister, she has those softball hands. She can rub some feet. so I worked harder on your soles harboring whiskied men, fists and marbled in the madness, so much broken glass mixed with moonstone so much soul and sadness Funny what a mother can do. She can return to smiles set the tone, salvage love inside knee scabs while she loses raising you HER BURDEN In one week, a woman can grow life shoot a rapist bleed out the last word while he leaks red hell on car fenders she waxes when she isn't waning In one week, a woman can talk tears off suicidal bridges while she bridges words to new days dressed in smiles preparing breakfast mixed with messages self discovery over easy pancakes that make pain too, pass In one week, a woman can become an armed robber or she can nurse bottles and beers (and in the same week) bring freedom to kids she never raised but carries While vacuuming others’ mess, a woman can write a poem on hallways she architects inside her head that always she revises surveillances She can burn down the world with flammable honesty then discover fire extinguishers while men cough, choke, drop for cover
Copyright © 2022 by K.R. Morrison. Used with permission of the author.