Image by Christina Winter

ROOTS

the madrigal, volume ii

Grandmother as a Tree

by lorelei bacht

Grandmother as an apple tree.

Pride of our ancestors: we make

cider, far too many barrels of it,

 

drink to forget how we forgot

our language and turned our forest

into rye fields – to feed your kings.

 

Grandmother as an old oak tree.

We tie ribbons around the trunk,

ancient, all colours of medals

 

and catholic trinkets - we are the last

pagans. Leave it to the white man,

the measure of circumference.

 

Grandmother as a cherry tree.

It is forever the forties: you never know

when coffee will run out, or when there will

 

Only be cats to eat. Quick, quick, go steal

The cherries back from the blackbird,

Make a hundred preserves.

 

Grandmother as an aspen tree.

One summer night, the thunderstorm

caught it. Etching of an absence in black

 

against the sky. Autumn, winter,

the season swirls, the tree still stands,

but will bear no more leaves.

Lorelei Bacht lives and writes in Asia. Her work has appeared / is forthcoming in such publications as Visitant, The Wondrous Real, Quail Bell, Abridged Magazine, Odd Magazine, Postscript, Strukturriss, The Inflectionist Review and Slouching Beast Journal. She is also on Instagram: @lorelei.bacht.writer and on Twitter @bachtlorelei