blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1




The rain’s roulade against the roof
will wake her, not the muezzin’s call
to prayer at dawn, though she was drawn
to it one night in our father’s village,

cousins arm in arm down a moonlit road,
filmi style, romantic. Earlier that day,
the boys shared one piece of paper
like it was a sheet of gold. There was no trash

there, she told me later. Back in the city
young uncles asked about the countryside,
laughing in her face as she answered ducks,
when she should have said the rice paddies

quilted the fields by the river
or the breeze
filled my lungs with song.
Mute, monolingual,
she snapped photos of our grandmother
until she smiled, one white lash

at her eye like a snowflake. 

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