Blending domesticity and earthy natural imagery, Los Angeles poet K. E. Ogden presents readers with quite the scene in three short stanzas. Touching upon childhood, motherhood, healing, and purification in the form of the natural world, “Daily Labor” is a stunning example of Ogden’s poems, which study the balance between nature and humanity, flesh and spirit, decay and growth.
Daily Labor Pink-stained tongue; brown eyes wide. Daughter hums a small kazoo. Mother’s knotted, woven fingers carry the daughter: heavy bag filled with ripe peaches. In sleep I search for maps that lead to light, to rivers where I wash this body free from sweat, from daily labor. Spread new wings behind thick blades of purple grass. Breath leaves the body, stomach rises in clustered nests of bark and root.
K. E. Ogden
K. E. OGDEN is winner of the 2021 Finishing Line Press New Women’s Voices Chapbook Prize. Her award-winning debut, What the Body Already Knows, will be available in September 2022 and is in presales now [[https//www.tinyurl.com/keogdenFLP]]. A poet, essayist, book artist [[https://static1.squarespace.com/static/585ebfd09de4bb91b6a31717/t/587554ff17bffc3540f4e009/1484084564446/full.quilt.300dpi.jpg]] and educator, K.E. Ogden grew up in Honolulu, Hawai’i and spent much of her life in California and southeast Louisiana. She is a former recipient of the Poetry Ambassador Fellowship to Changsha, China from the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics at Cal State Los Angeles and is a two-time winner of the Academy of American Poets Henri Coulette Memorial Prize from Cal State Los Angeles. A poet laureate of Gambier, Ohio, Ogden teaches every summer in the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshops and during the academic year at Pasadena City College where she chairs the Creative Writing program and organizes the Humanities Speakers Series. A typewriter user and lover of oceans, she lives in Los Angeles with her high school sweetheart, artist Mathew Digges. Visit her on the web at kirstenogden.com.