K.R. Morrison

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.