Georgette Unis

The Old Field by Marysia Schultz

Bittersweet Chocolate

Sweet but not sweet enough,
those memories of mother,
though medicinal at times
by current standards

and compared to the dove
who warms her nest
and never moves until
she must find food

or her hatchlings
in the kind of devotion
she talked about but sat
deep in her imagination.

Today is the anniversary
of my mother’s death,
her physical one
and though her memory

never leaves me,
conscious or unconscious,
I harbor her lessons
from the voyage here

through threatening storms
and endless horizons
of tumulous waves.
Her fiancé shelved,

she came in bracelets
and red lipstick,
her suitcase packed
with empty dresses.


no matter the meaning
             her words come
             rapid as gun fire

while she wears her woes
             snug to her bosom
             in an expensive tee shirt

scooped low enough
             for the pierced heart
             on her tanned breast

to reveal cracks
             wide as the ones
             in old sidewalks

through which weeds grow
             their roots ju-jitsu
             for dominance

neither tools nor fingers can release
             only poison that dissolves
             with each season

while the gardener says
             they must be destroyed
             as enemies in a war

but even the vanquished
             lie in wait
             for opportunity

and they grow back
             deep as shame
             inflicted by classmates

or a mom or dad
             no therapist can remove
             only teach her to step over

Table of Contents