by Hannah E. Chapple
But your mother’s people were called forest
and she starved in bitter quiet
without salt spray, without low daylight.
You crawled her to Long Island
to sink by the bayside, a ghost
among so many of grandfather’s fish,
folded her grave into damp earth
far from Malmo, where once
warm locals asked you the way home.
wind braided our hair together with rough fingers
urgent and the cold was the cold from Ottawa when
without mittens for our fingers or intelligent coats
we shook into each other deep bruises
carved from edges of lips of teeth
I laughed my old man clatter like leaves crackling
you grinned long gasps from the space between teeth
until I fell asleep pressing my cold to your cold too
Hannah E. Chapple is a PhD student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, studying English and Creative Writing. She is the Assistant Poetry Editor for Rougarou, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Ibis Head Review, Sooth Swarm Journal, and RESTLESS.