The Rest

Karen Corinne Herceg



My parents rest in drawers of steel,

within shiny, cushioned boxes

behind walls of stone.

Slid in like bakers’ trays,

but they will not rise,

will not resurrect,

and it’s for the best.

I couldn’t withstand

a re-birth,

not for any of us.

We had our chance.

I’ll go it alone now,

I muse,

resting my head against

the cool marble,

the inscription of their names,

the chiseled dates

making impressions on my flesh.


The Leaving

Karen Corinne Herceg

It’s not the leaving,

it’s the getting out,

mommy whispered

through watery, glazed eyes

rheumy with loss.

The unavoidable last breath,

the chest heaving,

a final rise against time

that will soon cease in one body.

The hiss of oxygen,

a tank of lungs,

machines replacing body parts

that have surrendered

long before spirit.

It all murmurs on.

It’s the price for becoming timeless,

to enter a forever place

that we tricked ourselves

into thinking a body might be.



Karen Corinne Herceg graduated Columbia University with a B.A. in Literature/Writing.  She has published a book of poetry, Inner Sanctions and was editor for a small press.  A recipient of New York State grants, she has read with such renowned writers as Pulitzer Prize winner John Ashbery.  Ms. Herceg studied with poets David Ignatow and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Schultz.  She recently published in Immortal Verses, From A Window: Harmony and Inkwell.  In 2013 her short story, Knitting In Transit, appeared in Chrysalis Magazine.  She has completed a first novel, Diva!  Ms. Herceg was a finalist to co-author the biography of Khalilah Ali, former wife of Muhammed Ali, and worked on the biography of famed Palm Beach psychic, Barbara Norcross. In 2011 she received graduate credits in advanced writing emphasizing editing and revision.  Current projects include an autobiographical novel, One Small Stone, and co-authoring an autobiography with music producer Glenn Goodwin.  She is an active participant of poets groups in the Hudson Valley, New York, where she resides.


Twitter: @karen_herceg; P.O. Box 483, Highland Mills, NY 10930; website & blog launching summer 2015.