I met the girl three days
before her murder,
cello on her back,
cerulean eyes. After
this week of too much
death, I go to the garden,
remember my grandmother
with the first turn of still
damp dirt. The shovel lifts
a dandelion, a worm hangs
on the roots, and I can taste
the spring tonic she swore by.
It took all afternoon to find
tender leaves along the tracks,
draw the deep green elixir
from them, a brew with three
bites of salt pork, pot liquor
we drank warm from the center
of the supper table. Memory
is my prayer. Shovel in, turn
earth, in again, turn earth, in
again, the center of the supper
table, pot liquor we drank
warm, three bites of salt pork,
deep green elixir, tender leaves
along the tracks, all afternoon,
spring tonic she swore by,
a dandelion, worm on the roots,
the first turn of still damp dirt,
my grandmother, the garden,
this week of too much death,
cerulean eyes, cello on her back,
three days before her murder.
Three deer at woods’ edge, evening sun’s slant on things,
and the story you told every October memory clear.
You were out for a run, felt her eyes on you; and when
you stopped, so did she---a doe, there, ahead of you.
This is the amazing part, you always said. Without hesitating
she came to you, licked the salty sweat from your palm.
I grieve you still in the smells of earthy dusk, wonder
why you found your gentleness such a surprise.
Souvenir from Acoma
She squats in the adobe door,
calloused fingers caressing the clay,
a fragile cocoon. I am hungry
for her miracle, bold black lines
a cat’s cradle, sienna diamonds
floating. I buy the pot, no need
to haggle about the cost.
Kate Fadick has worked as a community organizer and advocate for social justice in rural Appalachian communities and urban neighborhoods. She lives in Cincinnati and now considers her day job as that of “poet”. Her chapbook, SLIPSTREAM, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.