Bio Note: The daughter of Hungarian immigrants, I could not speak English until six months before I went to kindergarten but had my first poem in the National Anthology of High School Poetry at 15 and sold my first short story to a national magazine at 17. I wrote and published poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and am on the final draft of a novel. I will also have a book of poetry entitled I Come from Immigrants published in 2023 by Kelsay Press and this poem is from that collection. I have had my poems published in Verse-Virtual, Lothlorien, and Muddy River Review among others.
Everything We Need
That day, we worked together in the hay fields, until lunch, when you unharnessed Bessie and let her graze by the wagon. I spread out our meal on a cloth, the bread with the sharp cheese, the sausage, apples for dessert, and red wine to quench our thirst. When lunch was over, I packed up and you removed your shoes, placing them by the sickles. I kept mine on as we lay down to rest before resuming. Smiling, I thought of our family. The children were educated, had married well, settled down, and nurtured children of their own. We needed little but each other. The bountiful harvest was good and would add to our security as we relaxed in the warm sun. You kissed my forehead, then lay back and pulled your hat down over your eyes, using your arms to lay on like a pillow. I cuddled beside you, my head on your chest. We had everything we needed, I thought, to be happy in our old age. Enough money saved. Plenty to eat. A lifetime of memories to ponder. As I slowly fell into a deep sleep, I didn’t hear the cancer growing, giving you barely six months to live, and leaving me only poems to write.
©2022 Margaret Duda
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to say what it is about the poem you like. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL