If you like the poems on this page, be sure to come back; I post fresh ones every few months and, since I’ve yet to publish a book of short poems, this is the only place to see them.

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Click here to read “An Introvert On Facebook”, a winner of the 2017 Poetry In the Garden contest sponsored by the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.



Airport Chic

You see them

at international airports wearing

three-inch spike-heeled ankle boots

with impossibly pointed toes

and they wear skinny cropped pants

and loose tops in thin, clingy fabrics

that carry a whiff of Paris or Milan.

They radiate chic.


I am wearing sensible shoes

and jeans that were on the fringe

of fashion a year ago

and practical layered garb

with a scarf.

I radiate respectability.


When I was their age

and thin

and hip

did I look that good?



They have an insouciant poise,

an aristocratic disregard

for plebian practicality,

a supremacy of style

that knows it is inaccessible

to the rest of us.


Eclipsed by their glamour

I wait to board the plane

feeling stodgy

but wickedly enjoying the knowledge

that when I exit that last terminal

my feet won’t hurt.

Copyright © 2017 Karen Ulm Rettig


The Limits of Language

To claim that God is present in the face of disbelief

is like describing sunset to a man who cannot see.

You can’t account for color or convey expanse of sky

or make light credible to one who never squints his eyes.

Yet harder to communicate than firmament ablaze

is vision of a lofty God and His resplendent ways.

His goodness is a radiance beside which color pales;

before the wonder of His glowing presence, language fails.

Copyright © 2017 Karen Ulm Rettig

Forever Martha

I am Martha, always busy,

jobs to finish,

things to do,

manager of small essentials,

lives to tidy,

needs to queue.

Organize unruly details.

Settle squabbles that arise.

Juggle crowded calendars.

My every hour I subdivide.

Planning. Working.




Sometimes I want to be Mary.





But they jostle me!

I push each problem aside.

I tell each worry that it must wait.

I turn my back on every responsibility.

Still, they whimper for attention.

They pull at my elbow and tug at my skirt,

when all I want to do

is to sit here


at Your feet.

Copyright © 2016 Karen Ulm Rettig