by Don Narkevic
Empty, the clay pot I use to soak my menstrual cloths and none drying on the flat roof of our house. Family sees the absence. Everyone knows: Ima, aunts, cousins. Even Aba cannot talk over the women serving food, although I hear: embarrassment, disgrace, shame. At the wash-trough the buzz of bees ceases when I arrive, eyes darting about, landing for a moment on my belly that my sash no longer hides. Will the villagers of Nazareth treat my child as illegitimate, or will they say, Rise, child, bright and morning sun? As Ima uses the gutting knife to cut my dusty toenails, I embroider a home-spun winter-wool tunic for Aba, and she mentions the young man changed his mind, shortened the betrothal period, the dowry: a donkey, silver, myrrh. After harvest, he will marry me.
Don Narkevic: Buckhannon, WV. MFA National University. Current work appears in Literary Yard, Ariel Chart, and The Lake. In Spring 2022, Main Street Rag will publish a novella of poetry entitled, After the Lynching.