Meredith Kunsa is a native Californian, and received two advanced degrees (MPA in Publication Administration and MFA in Creative Writing) from California State University, San Diego. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Crab Orchard Review, Connecticut Review, Inkwell, Kalliope, Los Angeles Review, The Raven Chronicles, Tiferet, Silk Road, Passenger, and Persimmon Tree, among others.
This heart of mine weeps
for itself and pleads for mercy
– From the Egyptian Book of the Dead
About the time masons set the massive
cornerstones of Cheops and sealed
the pharaoh’s chamber, a small grove
of Bristlecone pines sprouted
in the Colorado Rockies and have since
stood on the eastern slope.
Through countless fires, long seasons
of drought and wind-driven ice,
they have grown slowly, adding only
a hundredth of an inch a year. Stunted,
stooped and misshapen, some hang on
by a measly strip of outer bark.
Unlike us, whose cores are beaten down
to the dry bone depth of doubt, by grief
and regret, by loss of heroes and illusions,
stripped to heartwood unconsolable,
we grow a lifetime in seconds.
Lying down on a sea of sand, we heap
upon ourselves block after stone block.