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Here’s What My Mother
Won't Talk About

Just a girl of seventeen
with the grace of flowers
in her hair

coming home
from the pastures
beyond the woods
where the cows drift
slowly, through a twilight
of dust, warm and still
as August

She finds her mother
a bullet in her throat
her sister's severed breasts
in the dust by her feet
the dead baby
still in its blanket

it all ends there
not in the camps
but there

Ask her

She'll wave her hand
tell you you're a fool

tell you

if they give you bread
eat it

if they beat you
run

 

©1999 John Guzlowski

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