Synkroniciti is delighted to welcome back poet Merryn Rutledge who won the “Curiosity” poetry contest in our previous issue. “Broken” features two pieces. In “Trying to Imagine From Far Away, March 2022,” Merryn remembers being upset over losing a shoe as a child, as well as the story of a schoolmate who fled Hungary in 1956, and attempts to approach the terror of children fleeing present day Ukraine in the face of war. The separation she feels is not only physical distance, but an extreme difference of experience which requires an extension of empathy. War crushes and transforms innocence. Merryn uses spaces to create pauses in the narrative which signal emotional heaviness and hesitance. The second poem, “Forgiveness” likens forgiveness to an illusive wild cat, the twin of anger. This forgiveness is not what she expects it to be, “maybe not created in the way I thought,/ that is, arising in spontaneous generation/ from my release of those who wronged me.” She struggles to let this new personality in, not yet ready to let go of her anger and unsure if the two can coexist. Merryn’s imagery is as striking as her empathy.
Read Merryn’s clear-eyed poetry in our September 1st issue, “Broken,” available for purchase here: https://synkroniciti.com/the-magazine/purchase-individual-issues/.
Merryn Rutledge’s poems have appeared widely. Her newest book of poetry is Sweet Juice and Ruby-Bitter Seed (Kelsay Books, May, 2023), available here. She enjoys teaching poetry craft, supporting fellow writers by reviewing their books, singing, dancing, and working for social justice causes.
Writing is Merryn’s third career, after teaching literature, film studies, and creative writing at Phillips Exeter Academy, and then running a leadership development consulting firm. Merryn lives near Boston and the seashore, where long, horizon-filled walks feed her soul.