Another country heard from:
hydrangeas from a distant shore.
The island of my husband’s family
cheerfully inscribed with a message
from a mutual friend
tugs at my nostalgia for his long fingers
holding up the camera,
his drawl coaxing me to smile for him,
then turning to a flower, closing in;
both subject to his fascination
enclosed in pixels just as much as mind,
his warm regard upon my face
a swathe of summer sun
and the scent of long-faded blossoms
somehow brushes across me
(c) RCGA 2017
Moonlight shines through the curtains
a streak of white in the darkness of my room
a river of milky light spilling on the sheets
tickling the cat’s whiskers
pouring across my thigh
cool and pure
and the repetitive sound
of the night train passing
is punctuated with a periodic wail
a metal wolf howling
at the full moon
(c) RCGA 2017
The crow comes to the high tree across the way
and talks to me in code
two caws, three caws, seven, then two
I don’t know what he’s saying
but I respond
my ragged awks less resonant
he answers me
fluffing his black feathers
spreading his dark wings
upping the ante
with a longer call pattern
Today it was just one caw
one after another
and he only went to two
when I gave him two of my awkward calls
When I came inside he flew away
and I wonder what we have spoken of
what he believes of me
from our conversations
bird and woman
perched across the street from each other
in the spring sunshine
3-23-17 © RCGA
On the days that I sat by you
watching your fingers fly
on the calculator keys
you told me stories
I marveled that a woman
had survived things
my imagination recoiled from
when only a child
There was hunger
there were nights with no bed
there was fear
there was loss
there were nightmares when sleep came
and all your family gone
Yet, here you were
your wings still full
and spread to embrace
and all life’s joys
I learned more from you
than how to add numbers
on those mornings
I witnessed the embodiment
and felt humbled
in its brightness
For Livia Gal, survivor of the Holocaust in Budapest and Hungary.
Here is the rabbit
in the burrow
while the coyote
and the buzzard
light a fire by the door,
waving smoke and sweet talking.
“Little Rabbit, I will be kind,”
“I only want your skin, I swear.
If you give it to me now
I will go away
for the season
and come drive you out in the winter.
I hear death to cold is easy, small friend,
a simple nap to the other side.”
“I am kinder,”
“I will wait until you’re dead to eat you.
But I’ll be honest, if you come out now,
you’ll make us happy
and when you are gone
we will sing for you
songs of thanksgiving…
isn’t it tempting?”
Rabbit sighs, and lights tobacco, and sage.
“Wait, wait, brethren, until I am old and slow.
Then when I come out I won’t even run.
Until then seek some other burrow
that may find your voices pleasing.
I have enough roots to sustain me til spring.
By then you’ll be frostbitten
and your navels meeting your backbones.
So off you go, and thanks for the fire,
it keeps the wolves and foxes back,
and they tend to dig at the door.
Next time bring some sweetgrass,
maybe some cabbage, or beer.
You really need to work on your approach
when there are so many predators
competing with you.”
(c) RCGA 2016