The Jews of Łódź and Warthegau
“Here there is no why.” If This is a Man, Primo Levi
Moonlit quarry. Cratered shaped sky.
How long has it been since cried? Perception’s fool.
Nose wipes on stripped shirt sleeve.
“Onwards to life,” ruminate, “a sad, but necessary job.”
Death is life now.
Dig earth and stone, a pit soon full.
Rhythm of the gibe. The mind takes receipts.
The braids of the Narew River.
Grass undertow. Duty. Freed.
Finger a rock, its hardness.
The stone perturbs the surface swallows.
The length and width of the pit.
There is no I.
Shortening days skid towards winter.
Still the cusp, the delicious, suspended cusp.
Leaves buffet bluestone gravel.
Dots of shell shard.
Tufts of errant grass.
Black locust, maple, red cedar, leaf-needle-peppered lawn. In the deciduous azalea bed, my Mother’s ashes fuse with the bones of dog.
Whiskers at my feet, rescues, our eyes’ press to glass and our mouths issue a shuttering sound.
www.onlineetomologydictionary yard (n.1) patch of ground around a house,” Old English geard “fenced enclosure, garden, court; residence, house,” from Proto-Germanic *gardan- (source also of Old Norse garðr “enclosure, garden, yard;” Old Frisian garda, Dutch gaard, Old High German garto, German Garten “garden;”
Lucinda Kempe’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Menacing Hedge, New South Journal, New World Writing, Midway Journal, Matter Press, The Southampton Review, and the Summerset Review. Wigleaf long listed her micro fiction in 2018, 2019 and 2020. An excerpt from her memoir was short listed for the Fish Memoir Prize in April 2021. She lives on Long Island where she exorcises with words.