It looked like a defeated botanical,
stuffed butt first in an old hat box,
petals of crinoline, silk and netting
leafing out. A waning magnolia,
shaped of faux pas, trapped between
memory and the moment.
She’d carefully packed it in tissue
thirty years ago, schlepped it town to town,
her gut the depository of a thousand
swallowed tacks. Now a freewoman,
she wanted to drown it, torture
each perfectly petite pearl button.
The day she accidentally unearthed it,
bracelet snagging a needle-laced sleeve,
her forceful yank, its silken skirts
a dance of air, spring-winged,
and she that girl, stunningly
unacquainted with loss.
Kari Gunter-Seymour. Athens, Ohio.
Call and Response is a photo-literary exploration devoted to the relationship between photographs and words. Using photographs from the Looking at Appalachia project, writers are encouraged to respond narratively to a single image in 1,000 words or less. We hope to use this platform to expand our community and encourage collaboration between photographers and writers. Learn more about how to submit here.