Winter 2013 • Vol. XXXV No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2013 |

Hickories

Why do I write of hickories, whose boughs touch other boughs across a slender road, when our neighbor, Haneen, born in Gaza, cried that a missile ripped her niece apart in the family garden? The child's father found her intestines stuck to a cypress bark and he, too, perished in the raid. Her mother wrote to Haneen before the news was out, "Help me. Take my hand." Why do I rave of hickories reaching out their crooked fingers? Because before the fires, the child, Lina, was dropping almonds into a linen napkin. Soon she would run to offer them for dinner. Like Lina, I race to show you hickories, their nuts shrunken brown globes, soon to fall.

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Grace Schulman’s seventh collection of poems, Without a Claim, was published in September 2013 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Mariner Booka). She is Distinguished Professor, Baruch College, CUNY.

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