Glass Poetry Press

Volume One Issue Two

Jean Tupper

Gisela, my friend …

blond and tall as a man, with shocking-blue eyes, ruler-straight spine, boots by the woodstove ever ready to stampfen spring mud, winter snow; to dig your nails in black soil, and forage for rare mushrooms like pfifferlinger, to salvage carrots, leeks and kohlrabi for tomorrow's soup. I watch you at your ironing board, burned and tattered, hemming cuffs for others. Short puffs of steam rise from your moist cloth. In the window your cactus blooms on schedule. Since those early days in undivided Berlin, you have learned to live simply in these rooms — filling them with fragrant cinnamon and spice, adding appleskins to color your sauce. I admire the way you make the most of this little house in the woods and Horst, your husband of twenty years, who dreams of his Nazi youth and vows the world would be a fine place now if Hitler were in charge. Wanting only to forget all that, you stitch around politics and religion — speak only of a new dress for Gerta, new pants for Fritz.