After the Fever Lifted by Al Gabor
by Al Gabor
All day Gertruda followed her father's wagon
as it scooped spuds from the ground.
Bucket after bucket she filled,
as heavy and hot
as buried stars.
At night the fever gained
and she felt herself
grow crowded with light and grace.
Spirits whispered and the moon sang just for her
--it sounded a bit like crickets--
and she felt herself becoming an angel.
But instead of God,
the doctor showed his face.
A cold bath, Tea with
ice. Let her sleep all she wants.
She'll be fine.
A week of bed rest,
then back to following the plow,
the dirt beneath her nails
no longer grains of gold,
the pain behind her shoulder blades
strained muscles, not the buds
The weight of everything
the clay bowl of bread dough,
the wet clothes she hung on the line.
her wool scarf, sodden with sweat,
roped around her neck,
Years later, a woman now and
far from the family farm,
she sometimes recalled the faint singing;
and, when lifting a child from her crib,
or setting a pot on the burner,
she felt astonished again
at the incessant
Published in Cream City Review , Vol 16.