Kersten Christianson

Solar Flare

   -Tracking Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese”


You do not have to be engaged.

You do not have to sit

in the front row

nodding your head

in approval,


to the uninspired.

You only have to represent

the clickety-clack of your heart,

tap-dancing rain gutters,

solar panels.

Tell me where you’d rather be,

and I’ll draw an X

marking my spot, too.

Meanwhile, the day slugs on.

Meanwhile the sun rides the sky

in a hunched back slouch, filters

60 watts through alder leaves

hanging by a thread.

Whoever you once were,

or will yet become,

the world will bend

to your intensity.



Kersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moon-gazing Alaskan. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing (University of Alaska Anchorage), has authored two books of poetry – What Caught Raven’s Eye (Petroglyph Press, 2018) and Something Yet to Be Named (Aldrich Press, 2017) – and is the poetry editor of Alaska Women Speak.

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