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