Friday, December 11, 2009

Marjorie Deiter Keyishian: Sweets

In spring his mother strapped a store of candy
to the donkey’s back. They walked the hills.
Those stone roads took them to village after
village of Turkish young, shouting for barley
sugar. Louder than a cornering wind,
those children surrounded their fathers. How
they implored, mouths wet already with sweet
toffee they wanted so loud valleys ring.
Even now; the wind wants sugar candy.

That young boy who scaled (leading the beast or
following after) those lava hills knew
climbing was easy. What the others—
the children of that village never knew—
was that he did not eat candy. That sweet
taste, he bartered away so his people
ate bulghar and rice all the cold winter long.

His dying father refused fresh yogurt,
told him: “You live to feed others! Eat this.”

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