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Grandmother Twyla Nietzsch is an Elder

of the Wolf­Clan


At her kitchen table

sharing tea

in the pale morning

I ask the widow,

“How long were you married?”

And she replies,

“I am married.

Though my husband died twelve years ago

he is still

as he was for eighteen years

before that

my husband.”


I can see in her eyes

and in the way her hand reaches

for the cream

that it is true.

And I know

last night,

alone in her bed

as she slipped across the borderland

she felt him curled around her

the soft hair of his chest

against her thin back

his strong thighs

along the curve of her aging buttocks

his wide fingers

ently cupping her softly sagging breast.


It is, as it has always been.

The separation

of years

or even worlds


dull their ache for each other.



her watery blue eyes

watch my face

as my fingers

trace the sun’s patterns

on the plastic tablecloth.


I long for a great love.


Oriah ©1995

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