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Poem of the week: Heritage by Khimm Graham

By Khimm Graham  

To cross cracks, break backs

tears dried into window sills

silhouettes of the little sorrow

motherless children make.

Take me to Grandpa’s lair -

his bleak abode on Buffalo hill

where hanging limbs cry willow

and weave silent winds.

His foundation falling first and last

to taste white owls incense

on stone cold tile floor.


Jars my Mother held

steaming stewed tomatoes

marmalade and muscatel

up stairs lined in work boots

steel toes from steel mills

sooty worm holes onto old country

ways from communist days

in mason jars we drank

warm milk and ginger juice

dry sausages and moldy fruit.


So, from his steel eyes and gravel throat

I spit the past back in the glass

row of rims that chipped

a tooth and took sole strength

to make my spine American

and leave this life to try again. Contributor’s Note: Poet and prose writer KHIMM GRAHAM lives in West Seneca.

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