I hold a funeral for the farm. In my head, like music returning, the mewing of the blind
kittens, my mother’s mother in a drab cotton housedress, pointing to their nursery,
a crate lined with straw. She left Poznan and silks to be a farmer’s wife.
I didn’t speak her language. From the pump in the yard, I fill a dented cup; here
is where they drank, the horses I shied from. I discover artifacts: a green-black
feather in the coop, a corncob stripped clean, light as a hornet’s nest.
It hurts to see the beam the turkey hung from, waiting for the ax. [End Page 148]
Beyond the weathered fence, row on row of blackberries ripen, untended.
They taste of sun and rain, her fortune in a strange land: baptismal gowns, black armbands. [End Page 149]
elisabeth murawski is the author of Zorba’s Daughter, which received the May Swenson Poetry Award; Moon and Mercury; and two chapbooks. She was a Hawthornden fellow in 2008. A native of Chicago, she resides in Alexandria, Virginia.