Image by Rebecca Matthews

ROOTS

the madrigal, volume ii

Hortensias

by lorelei bacht

Grandmother liked them blue,

Which is a commitment.

She would crush stacks of shale,

Flakes of teal in her hair. She cared

Not much for the science of sediments

Or the intricacies of anthocyanins.

She simply conjured up flush upon flush

Of purplish blue through her hard work.

 

Quotidian and obstinate,

She went by night to fill her bags

With treasures finally reclaimed

From the quarry where five men glassed

Her brother in the war - His body lost,

His voice a blank as vivid as the pain

Of the myriad of pebbles which disease

Had nested in her chest.

 

With shale, magic, a temper to endure

Living three houses down from murderers,

What grandmother does in silence in her garden

Is survive: tuberculosis, war. Death even -

Nighttime visitor, soul of our young daughter.

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