December 2012

The Gruel

listen to this poem
 
My father’s quiet friends in prison, 1958-1962
Craiova, Gherla, Giurgiu—political prisons
Salcia, Periprava—forced labor camps for political detainees

 
I’m lumpy, lukewarm, and gray,
and you could use me for glue,
mortar, or clay.

 
Inside your cupped hands,
I breathe my steam,
soft as a prayer.

 
Dip your tin spoon
inside me.

 
Lift me
to your hungry lips.

 
You don’t have to like me.