I am Karlie with a K


Pacific Northwest
Redmond, WA
United States

I am a humid emerald forest where the rain never ceases to sheet down.

The streets smell of thick damp dirt.

We would dance in the spray as Multnomah Falls thunders down.

So harsh and powerful and so sound and beautiful all at once.


I am a cool tea party in the shade of a willow tree.

The sparkling brook seems like something of a fairy tale.

We would dress up and make believe in shadows cast.

Pixies and dragons and princesses and weddings, spells and pots of nature stew.


I am a long swaying grass rippling in a golden wave.

The soft twang of George Strait and a guitar float in a late summer breeze.

We would swim in crystal Catalina waters kissing florescent garibaldi.

Dainty daisy crowns with sticky sweet peaches on lips.


I am a Disney character waltzing in a ballroom.

Asleep in my pretty pink bedroom, dolls are arranged paused at a party.

We would dream we could fly as Peter Pan soars on the old television set.

The tooth fairy leaves gold dollars, there is green milk at St. Patrick’s Day.


I am a casserole from my Nana’s hot, stuffy kitchen.

Classic Charlie Brown episodes play with real popped corn with melted white chocolate.

We would giggle in disgust at green Jell-O marshmallow fluff eaten only to be polite.

Experimental turkeys smoke, so chicken is prepared in its place, but nobody notices the difference.


I am a bedtime story from Grandpa.

The terrifying Red Bedroom conjures images of a boogey man creeping up from the basement.

We would lie under Grandma’s quilts and watch the flicking antique nightlight in the corner.

Late night phone calls home would soothe an overactive imagination.


I am a wild blackberry and a piece of penny candy from the corner store.

Card towers and dominos wait to be toppled over by the sly little brother.

We would play Sardines in the dark, watch the stars, and point out constellations.

I always find the Big Dipper first, and Daddy finds Orion’s belt.


I am a bubble from the mouth of a snorkel.

It is blue for miles and miles, extending to the ends of the earth.

We would dive to the bottom to disturb the sand, watching fish scatter as we kicked.

Pretending to be a current I floated for hours.


I am a funny baseball movie with a moral.

Mom tells stories of this amazing man Great Grandpa Karl, my namesake.

We would race until our knees bled with scrapes and laugh until the air ran out.

Five dollars was a lot of money, and the world was at my fingertips.


I am a spray of gravel in a rearview mirror.

Photographs and boarding passes litter my carpet, books are marked with train tickets.

We would exchange teary eyed smiles as I tuck my passport in to the huge canvas bag.

The world is always calling, and I must go.


I am Karlie.

        Yes, with a K.


This poem is about: 
My family


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