Emily Koehn


If all I have is this shield I am a bad mother. I am constantly inside of this. I am building the brick house with my friend Janelle we can talk. I am deconstructing it. I am crying about it. I am impulsive and things could get a little messy. Teach this to the little ones still swinging at the playground. I need to put you to bed. I need a schedule. I need all the help I can get. I need the what. I am especially grateful to this moment. I am holding this as a pearl. I am not in the pearl. I’m in the geode waiting to take light. I am the light. If all I have is this. I am a mother. Constantly lying about this. Where in the genes is this taking place. Give me my hand. Hold it with me down the street the grandmother asks where is her home she says, I thought it was right here.

Emily Koehn’s poems are forthcoming or have recently appeared in Fence, Crazyhorse, Cincinnati Review, Vinyl, Painted Bride Quarterly, and elsewhere. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she works as a site coordinator for Poetry Inside Out, a poetry and translation program in the public schools.