Today's poem is by John Minczeski

A Letter to Serafin

Serafin, orphaned angel,
all that's left are a few pigs,
some rutabagas, and winter wheat.
Your great-grandchildren,

heirs to your legacy of dirt,
cultivate dialects like snow.
I am speaking from a suburb of St. Paul.
It is October. I am not raking

or composting. Nothing remains the same—
a galvanized roof shines on top of your house;
nobody has time for thatching anymore—
yet everything is the same.

The family, having gathered beets,
came from hunting mushrooms
to set out sausage and relishes.

What was I doing there, they asked,
how old was I? More tea?
And everything made by hand—
you'd feel at home.

They laid out inventories from the war—
a hand blown off by a land mine in the field,
a father who walked home from Germany
more bone than flesh.

Bankruptcies keep filtering down—
stifled inheritances,
a grimace mistaken for a smile.

The animals remain—pigs, a cow staked out
in a field to graze—descended from those
you fed, who adored you,
whoever you were, Serafin.

Copyright © 2009 John Minczeski All rights reserved
from A Letter to Serafin
The University of Akron Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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