With a white dove hand
she plucks my dollar bill for her shoo-fly pie.
Her chicory blue eyes glance at my beads,
then shy away.
Nearby on a bench a black bonnet perches,
a crow watching.
Her cornstalk hair is knotted back
behind a plain vanilla cap,
her homespun dress wired tight
in sweet submission.
Does she always turn her other cheek?
Or, sometimes when she kneads bread dough,
punches it down, slaps it,
does she see a face --
the man who raced her buggy,
the girl who giggled at her tight-laced shoes?
On a rack her strict black bordered quilt ignites
purple, pink and red.
On winter nights as she lies
beside her long-jawed German,
a net of snow descends around the house.
Is she warmed by dreams of stitching up
petals that rain from apple trees?
Does she hear the plum juice dropping thick
from jelly bags to wide-mouthed jars?
Pink of petals, purple of plums --
why red that seems about to leap
like flames over fire lanes of black?
© by Constance Vogel Adamkiewicz
Used with the author’s permission.