Red and Yellow Carnations

Amanda Karch

September 30, 2022



Judgment calls herself by another name
when she lies, synonym,
with the one giving life to your breath:
one day she finds you tall —

and leaves you weeping like the willow
always bending over backwards
to appease the one breaking her — mother
nature holding hands into fists
beating her down. For love,

it seems conflict breeds the right
conversations at the wrong times
(if ever), but maybe a survivor truly is
the last one to arrive, ocean-swept, at
a feeling called home.


A feeling called, home
forgot to answer — or maybe
that is what it means to wreak havoc
with the inner workings of yourself
tied up in second guessings and

what ifs. A reckoning of the mind
holds a euphemism for spiraling,
heart-stopping hysteria, though

we know where the truth lies —
between synapses and neurons
cradling the very mechanism responsible
for both muse and muscle,
one intense yet elusive while the other’s
motions fail to move towards.


Motions fail to move towards
a desired state of being, but

I call it temporary — I call it lying
low — I call it patience,
which lacks in the fibers of my being
so maybe I call it waiting
for chickens to be hatched before
lining them up to be counted,
one-by-one, paraded for their haves
while my have-nots linger in the
dark of a coop, not yet loved

by a mother who nurtures
strength by example, and who am I
if not my mother’s daughter?


If not my mother’s daughter,
I know not how to define the
eyes from her mother, blue

seeking more from the world. I am
my mother’s daughter in that
my skin finds a home in dedication
to what matters most while
my legs know how to stand up
for truth, yet I fail to let her in

on the secret keeping me alive,
desire’s flame burning that passion
fuel within me, all because of that want
to shroud it intact when

judgment calls herself by another name.

Amanda Karch writes poetry ranging from love to feminism, hoping to inspire and empower. She self-published her first collection, Her Favorite Color Was Sunshine Yellow (2020), selling almost 200 copies in its first year. Her work has also been published with Paddler Press, Topical Poetry, and Querencia Press. You can find her on Instagram/Twitter @akkwriting.