Sunday, October 23, 2011


This poem first appeared in Aura Literary Arts Review.

larva (plural larvae): the immature, wingless, feeding stage of an insect
larvae: in Roman religion, the ghosts of the family dead

A Roman woman knew to place a stone
in her womb, a primitive barrier.
Did she know as well the herbs, the chants
and spells, to end unwanted life?

And later, did a tiny larva, wingless,
follow her as she swept the floor,
bathed and tended the fire, ate grapes?

Did she then cast a prayer to the sky, bake
a propitiatory loaf of bread?
And did the larvae of her making, her
personal contribution to the
family dead, did her larvae depart?

Or did it follow her still, as she swept,
as she baked and bathed and shopped
and prayed, as she wept?

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