My Sister, Who Died
Young, Takes Up The Task
A basket of apples
brown in our kitchen,
their warm scent is the scent of ripening,
and my sister, entering the room quietly,
takes a seat at the table, takes up the task
of peeling slowly away the blemished skins,
even half-rotten ones are salvaged carefully.
She makes sure to carve out the mealy flesh.
For this, I am grateful. I explain, this elegy
would love to save everything. She smiles at me,
and before long, the empty bowl she uses fills,
domed with thin slices she brushes into
the mouth of a steaming pot on the stove.
What can I do? I ask finally. Nothing,
she says, let me finish this one thing alone.
From The Translator's
Diary by Jon Pineda, 2008
Issues Poetry & Prose, Western Michigan University, Dept. of English,
1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5331
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