Vinni Marie D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.


Text Box:

by Vinni Marie D'Ambrosio, in Reconstructionist and Life of Touching Mouths

On the Fifth Anniversary of Bluma Sach's Death


Who knew her-

(God, all refused her!)

the Polish refugee,

caught seven times

in the Jew net?



and fat

and poor.


Halls of applause


in a patched brain.


At last we met

and I wanted her

inside my door.


She came.

I poured the vermouth

of old sunrises

and said, Borrow my piano

in the mornings, Bluma.


And her arms flew,

and golden raisins

gleamed at the elbow,

and her dying skin

was heaving dough.


Done, shoulders damp,

she'd talk

beneath the parrots and swans

in the Roman garden

painted on my wall.

Wild Schumann huddled

beneath mute feathers,

ghastly parades

of brothers and children

kissed with soft beaks,

and I always said,

Tell me more!


Once the pain pushed

her to draw a line:

It is not fine of you,

she said.

We stared at wine,

and spoke no more of Poland.


In Warsaw's winter, once

she bartered, she the ripe artist

battered her piano

for a shredding quilt.

My guilt is worse.

I handed her a sieve of hours,

and as return

peered under old leaves

at the haunted bird.


I will go into

the small black room

where my work lies scattered

and the letters on the keys

are trembling fires

and the linoleum

is a rag of ice

under my penitent feet.


But Bluma, those mornings-

how the bright rooms laughed with music

while we wept!

Copyright © 2008 by Vinni Marie D'Ambrosio

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