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By Catherine Calabro

Santa Maria della Pieve above us, and the light-speared trees.
At the cast-iron table you tried to tell
the gentleman how we were related,
how I came from you, or halves of you.

You could not swallow.  Had you forgotten me,
or merely how the tongue shapes sound?
I spoke—that is, I remember saying Sono sua figlia,
a circle between us with my thumb, but I could not remember

the word for want or leave or bread or trees.
Seems foreign, doesn’t it, to explain what is fluent in nature?
Your nose as my nose, your skin and lashes
your brows and fingers.  Your throat.

Added: Tuesday, July 22, 2014  /  Calabro's poem took Second Place in the Split This Rock Poetry Contest of 2012. We are grateful to Jan Beatty for her judgement, our volunteers and interns, and all the poets for their submissions.
Catherine Calabro

Catherine Calabro holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan, where she was also awarded a Zell Postgraduate Fellowship in Poetry. She now works in Ann Arbor as the Program Coordinator for 826michigan, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping students aged 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills.

Other poems by this author