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
          Juden, Juden.

          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.
           (Juden, Juden)

          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.