Poetry

Annual trip to the village cemetery

Looking for your father’s grave,
we walk around
and read the names carved on crosses.

You recognize neighbors,
a cousin—
Old Neculai dead?
His son, too, at 50?

Weeds tangled,
fiery cosmos and marigolds,
burnt candles,
plastic wreaths.

Don’t pick the flowers,
I tell Dana too late.

She pulls at the blue chicory
growing from the eyes
of the dead,

uproots gaillardia,
fringes of their blankets,

and dry grasses
out of their bones.

For you, she says,
and gives me the bouquet,

then blows off the head
of a dandelion,

sending little soul seeds
into the wind.

Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. Her poems and translations have appeared in 5 a.m., Meridian, Harpur Palate, Word Riot, Blood Orange Review, Cutthroat, Green Mountains Review, and many others. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she is the author of Angels & Beasts (Phoenicia Publishing, Canada), The System (Cold Hub Press, New Zealand), and A Dirt Road Hangs from the Sky (8th House Publishing, Canada).
*Photo courtesy of sausyn.
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