, , , ,

Untying The Knot
Bitter end: The loose end of a rope.

Why do knots form by themselves?
In my blow dryer cord,
cell phone charger,
dog leashes.
What Boy Scout crept into the dark
to practice right over left
around and through?
And what of the sheepshank of worry
in my stomach,
muscles tied tense with monkey’s fists,
my hair tangled in little nooses?

The twists and hitches in our relationship —
who caused those?
Should I have jumped
through one more hoop
to tighten our ties,
looped my love around you
one more time?
Like a rope,
our marriage failed at the stress of the knot
and frayed at the bitter end.



This poem appeared in Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014) by Karen Paul Holmes.

Karen Paul Holmes is the author of a poetry collection, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press 2014.) Formerly the VP of Communications at ING (a global financial services company), she is now a happier freelance business writer, poet and writing coach. In support of writers and audiences, Karen founded and hosts the Side Door Poets in Atlanta and Writers’ Night Out in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She received an Elizabeth George Foundation poetry grant in 2012. Publishing credits include Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Kentucky Review, POEM, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol 5: Georgia, and the forthcoming anthology of Georgia poets from Negative Capability Press, among others. She grew up in Michigan and has an MA in musicology from the University of Michigan. Besides poetry, she likes to try her hand (and legs) at ballroom dancing.

Favorite poets: Thomas Lux, David Kirby, Barbara Hamby, Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds, Elizabeth Bishop, Linda Pastan, Dorianne Laux, Nancy Simpson and Rupert Fike.

Listen to Karen read her poems: