I sink my fingers into soil
trying to regrow severed roots
My grandmother married in a
blue velvet dress. Practical,
for the time. I have her shoes, purportedly,
from that day.
I have a sunflower-yellow necklace,
a bracelet of luminous green glass.
A ring, I think. A brooch.
I do not have: her forsythia,
iris, lilac. Weigela, hosta,
of a life that had to be lived.
I do not have: her peonies and roses.
Not for lack of trying, they died.
She too, was gone. Years
before my parents met, the
kind of cancer you can’t inherit.
I have her Hungarian kifli recipe
and the knowledge she
made rum-soaked fruitcakes
to afford Christmas trees. She
delivered milk by wagon with
her sister, laughing while crawling on
icy roads, midwinter.
her glass gazing ball. Her
jar. Her persistence, I think.
Her Ashkenazi blood, and all
the newfound weight that brings.
I try to grow new things. The
milkweed-seed that set itself
in the doorframe last year. The
vetch and wild rose that appear
uninvited but no less welcomed, yes.
The mullein and mallow, the
violets I hold so dear. Some year
still to come, baptisia will bloom
and seed-pod rattle. Maybe,
my roots will settle.