green in my body underneath
my left breast sags
green in my body might not
exist always I find it today near mountain top
after it rains wet shoe green might grow
through to my foot if I’d let it
creep to my ankle thick engorge
my calves in green
lick my thighs green moss where pubic hair
laid light below my navel
let sage grow wet my body
Young (Hartford, 1948)
Oma left Germany in 1940 without
its tongue–all throat and black screaming
To America she brought the dirty
jargon of political pamphlets, folkspeak
dug from dry village dirt.
God and His murderers kissing,
coaxing her tongue into hybrid language.
Whispering Yiddish in the kitchen
to Opa, hands over her David’s ears—
him, young enough for patriotism
and she, always soaping mouths
raw castor on raw tongues—
elbow-greasing David’s star.
Hannah Bernhard lives, works and writes in Northampton MA. Her work can be found in Meat for Tea, Mistress Mag, and in two self-bound chapbooks floating around the Pioneer Valley. Her writing centers around modern godliness, family, and all that is fresh and ripe in the body.