shot glass
Issue # 6 January 2012
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Gail Fishman Gerwin

Collage "Winter Bling" by Nancy Scott


The Hungry Woman

Sasha, bring me some herring, this time no potato, no juice,
ach, the fish sticks between my teeth like shredded ribbons.
Did you hear me Sasha? More herring.
Not so long ago, not herring, only caviar before that winter
—the fire, horses' screams like ghosts in the night, the thieves.
Sasha, where is the herring? That winter, geese boiled alive,
honks seared the air, wolves howled at the embers, gnawed
on carcasses. For them cooked meat, their bellies full.
For us, our house in ashes, my furs gone, two winters
with your mother. Sasha, where are you?
Your mother, so cruel, all she can say, no babies yet?
Nosy shrew, she mocks my empty belly, sees my tears.
And you, Sasha, say nothing.
When she dies, we'll sell that hideous brooch she wears
over her sagging breasts, we'll eat caviar again. Sasha?