Perfect Kernel by Mary Stike


“Perfect Kernel” by Mary Stike


On the house roof,
the mild November wind
blows my hair as fine as spider’s breath
across my face
and I find on the rough grey
shingles’ surface,
a perfect kernel of bright yellow corn.
I know my spirit sister visits me,
watches me
and leaves her golden gift
of sustenance and care.
Above, a crow,
in ascendance in his own web
that takes in our garden,
scavenged stalks cut down low
to straw-colored mounds,
the small outline of my house from above,
and this ever-changing stretch of our sky.
And me, the girl on the roof,
stringing Christmas lights,
breathing in
my own small piece of it.



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Mary Imo-Stike’s Artist Statement: Mary Imo-Stike identifies as an American Indian, and a feminist. She worked “non-traditional” jobs as a rail worker, construction plumber, boiler operator and gas line inspector. Now retired from work-life, she obtained an MFA in Poetry from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 2015, and is currently the poetry co- editor of HeartWood Literary Magazine. Her work has been published in Antietam Review, Phoebe, The Pikeville Review, Appalachian Heritage Cactus Heart and Young Ravens Review, and will be included in the forthcoming issue of riverSedge.


Author: A Room of Her Own

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