The Past is Not the Future

By Karen Petersen

Walking into my old room,

in that old house, ready for sale,

I see the empty stare of a doll’s china eyes,

facing the window where the breeze

used to come in on warm nights.

And my teddy bear, old and dusty,

head down in sorrow,

still on the pillow of that creaking bed.

My mother is gone now

so it’s finally just a house

with too many rooms

to be emptied out and cleaned,

made anonymous, and ready

to give a gift of space

for the next person’s dreams.


Karen Petersen has traveled the world extensively, publishing both nationally and internationally in a variety of publications. Most recently, she was published in The Manzano Mountain Review and Pilgrimage Magazine in the USA, Antiphon in the UK, Wild Words in Germany and A New Ulster in Northern Ireland. In 2015, she read "In Memory of W.B. Yeats" at the Yeats Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the KGB Bar in NYC. Her poems have been translated into Persian and Spanish. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Classics from Vassar College and an M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.