November 06


Susan H. Case

She has three last names
none real.
One for each marriage and

one mangled
from a trip through Ellis Island
(as if that kerchiefed head could pass for English)

the injured one lasting a century
a name taken from the Polish river
Bzura, found on a faded map, a place

marked by nothing
but a history of futile
fighting back. These three names jumble

anagrams in Garamond
recorded in a book of yearnings.
Today she's River Woman

made of dried mud.
And tomorrow a package arrives
addressed to another.

Gornisht, she says, glances
backward. Ungrips the past.
Begins to unwrap.


Images: from A Vilnius Story by Joyce Ellen Weinstein


Susan H. Case is a college professor in New York City. Recent work of hers can be found in the anthologies Yowl and Poems for the Mountains. She is the author of The Scottish Café (Slapering Hol Press, 2002), which is currently being translated into Ukrainian.