Karen Corinne Herceg © 2015 • Privacy Policy




Grandmother never cooked pudding

or bottled jam from berry bushes.

She made heartier dishes

and consoled me mostly

with brown hands aged with weather

and the soft folds of time.

She moved her solid bulk gracefully

and caught butterflies when they lighted

on flowers she had planted

then gently released them

between her thumb and forefinger

rubbing the perfumed powder of their wings

upon her apron.

Her dresses smelled of spices

and vegetable stews

and the house of clear, clean ammonia.

I’d watch her braid

the thick plaits of hair

wrapping them tightly around her head


Grandpa smiling

with simple eyes

pulled quarters from my ears

with magical ease

and let me plod along with tiny bare feet

in his great shoes.


With bones expanded and grown adept

I moved on,


the ground soft

with the footprints I have left

where rain will fall.


There will be puddles where I stood.



First published in INNER SANCTIONS 1979