Bedfast now for most purposes
whatever her intent:
ninety-six next equinox
       with next to no reading
       nevermore for writing
nor point in ciphering further out

Her hands, masters on a time
of ladle, needle, pin and pen,
clenching fast to what is left:
       that which was stolen
       from the broken grasp
of those she left beyond the sea

Sisters, brothers, and their children
born or but envisioned:
roundings-up and herdings-in,
       bound with wire
       barbed with flame
rendered into nameless night and fog

So she, the last of her eleven,
took up such as could be borne
clenching fast, and carried on:
       she holds it still
and will not be dispossessed
       just yet



Originally published in Not Necessarily
(St. Charles, IL: Not Necessarily)
Vol. 1, No. 3, Spring 1993

Copyright 1993, 2004  by P. S. Ehrlich


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