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September 2015, vol 11 no 3

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Penny Harter

Harvest Home

country cemetery –
a flock of crows cawing
between gravestones

Last night I dreamed of climbing old stone steps, three tiers of them, like layers on a wedding cake, climbing to the top of a hill where great stone tables stretched out on a field beneath the autumn sky – each table waiting for a family to find themselves among the thousands milling up and down; waiting for some music in the open air as the tribes gathered round.

I stood on a folding chair and called my family in – the living and the dead – grandparents, parents, aunts & uncles, cousins, husbands, discarded in-laws, children, grown now with their own families – and they all came smiling to the feast, while behind them trailed the others, holding hands all the way back to wooden tables floating in the dust motes of long Thursday afternoons while the light waned.

acid-free paper
in great-grandmother's journal –
I reverse the telescope