Fall 2015

Volume 10, Issue 2



She didn't either


With the sanction of a starsign
I decipher an infant
in a taken-for-granted heritage
barely settled Wisconsin
breaths in specter December
“It is too hard.”

The only one I can really comprehend
in the crude nursery
of my great-great-grandfather’s
forest cubbyholes
the only one who didn’t live to

Less than a month
in a construction I can’t see
and the siblings
on that attic list.  Huddled within
the enjambed walls.
Ice-embroidered beard and fur.
Mother blaze
retreating. Whirling winter and the
relinquishing. That

she didn’t either
rock at the hearth to the whorled
wilderness spring
or peer at the turmoil and toil
of a transferred
tribe beset with mines and harvests
or toddle her handwork
until she was a callow settler woman
constantly at
a wagon-awkward phase, in the hitch
of a difficult

stage. She wasn’t the hardy sort to be
rounded into
the necessary washboard marriage
and pregnant
in a purgatory beyond the pale

the afterAtlantic
the gagged gap, the never-better-land.
What life, what
hard labor, what country we did not know.



Want to read more from Katherine L. Holmes? Buy Curiosity Killed the Sphinx and Other Stories here.





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