Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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Three Generations
     Oil painting, Jerzy Duda-Gracz, 1989

Here, we see the crooked house
in a listing countryside, Poland
of mud, roads furrowed as a brow,
falling down fences. Grandma
is stooped by the weight of a lumpy
sky. Arthritic knuckles, pebbles
for knees. Beside her, a middle-aged
daughter, skin the color of walked-
on snow except for her scraped cheeks.
And between them both, a little girl
wearing the dull blue that can only
mean winter. In this world, women
are old and fat, or else they’re thin
wire, their faces molded clay. But
what we remember most is the shawl
one of them wears on her shoulders,
fabric patterned like a tired field,
pink roses done with blossoming.  end

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