Karen Elizabeth Sharpe

Pine Row Issue No. 8 Autumn 2023 - Featured Poet

Glass is for Looking Through


Christmas gathers

its nervous song.


Red-cheeked laughter

ribbons and unwrapping.


Cousins, aunts, uncles

stay away, make excuses.


The dog was sick.

The power was out.


That’s what people do.

Take sides, stop texting.


Spin hours until

morning empties


its cage of

shimmering lights.


That’s what anger does.

Eats up absence in a room.


It’s an ornament no

one wants to hang.

About the poem:  as shared by the poet

"Glass is for Looking Through" is a poem that I wrote after a series of stressful holiday situations over the last few years. It's so hard to experience conflict between family and friends even in non-holiday times. That pain is always exacerbated by pretending nothing is wrong. When we gather for what should be celebrations of joy and peace and togetherness, the pain is somehow even more palpable and more fragile to the touch. 

Karen Elizabeth Sharpe is a poetry editor at The Worcester Review. Her chapbook, Prayer Can Be Anything, is forthcoming in the summer of 2023 (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have or will soon appear in Split Rock Review, Ocean State Review, West Trade Review, Mom Egg Review, and Catalyst, among others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Karen has been a member of Marge Piercy's juried poets group and a member of the PoemWorks community in the greater Boston area.

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