An eight-time Pushcart-Prize nominee, Karla Linn Merrifield has had 400+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. Among her ten published books are her latest, Lithic Scatter and Other Poems (Mercury Heartlink) and Attaining Canopy: Amazon Poems (FootHills Publishing). Visit her blog at


I. 1950s

I stuck my tongue out
at peanut butter, calves liver
and my brother.

II. 1960s

I gave the finger
to God, my father,
and man’s first lies.

III. 1970s

I screamed Fuck you
to frat boys who fucked me
on rusty fold-out frat-room cots.

IV. 1980s

I learned to cast nasty
spells on masters of the corporation.
I quit the damn job. I went to Greece.

Later, all I had to do was spit
on miscarriage, marriage, bad myths.
And thus was the ladder climbed.

V. 1990s

More of same ass kissing, then, boom!—
kick out the dead-drunk butt
in order to wear river shoes with Husband #3.

VI. 2000s

I turned my back on the calendar
to witness exotic ice and sand embrace us,
erotic prairie and rainforest, ours.

VII. 2010s

Being of Ontario, being part Caloosahatchee,
I rise above as Sister Cloud drifting toward
Tanzania, Zanzibar, some far poet’s place or other.

Copyright 2014 Karla Linn Merrifield

title photography by Amber Casperson