Lucinda Kempe ~ Two Micro Poems

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.
Some alive.
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.
Bodies arrive.
At Chełmno,
There is no I.


August Geard*

Shortening days skid towards winter.
Not yet-yet-yet.
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.