Hickories

Grace Schulman

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Why do I write of hickories, whose boughs
touch other boughs across a slender road,
when our neighbor, Haneen, born in Gaza,

cried that a missile ripped her niece apart
in the family garden? The child’s father
found her intestines stuck to a cypress bark

and he, too, perished in the raid. Her mother
wrote to Haneen before the news was out,
“Help me. Take my hand.” Why do I rave

of hickories reaching out their crooked fingers?
Because before the fires, the child, Lina,
was dropping almonds into a linen napkin.

Soon she would run to offer them for dinner.
Like Lina, I race to show you hickories,
their nuts shrunken brown globes, soon to fall.

Read more poetry from the Winter 2013 issue by downloading the free Amazon digest version of The Kenyon Review here.

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