There is a cemetery at the edge of the village.
field of sunflowers.
By the river Maros, Kisjenö.
Gilded icon guards white-washed farm house.
Mud-brick fireplace. Stone benches.
Spinning wheel, bed, table, and chairs.
Accordion with violin,
cimbalom, the zither.
Great-grandmother Victoria wears a párta diadem,
woven of gold and silk and crystal glass beads.
Embroidered linen blouse, cashmere skirt.
Calla lilies and white roses bridal bouquet.
Three sons and one daughter.
has no memory of her mother.
Not to know her mother's hands.
Green gooseberry of a thorny shrub.
Tree trunks limed against the codling moth.
Peach tree and pear. Cackling hens, geese.
Close to the house, stables.
Great-grandfather György deserting his wife.
The year was 1897. Victoria farmed out
her daughter. Kept her three sons at home.
Faded homespun, knee-high boots.
Four years of grade school. A servant girl at nine.
Tallow candles and oil burning lamps.
On the oak table, bean soup with dumplings.
Maize bread baked in outdoor clay oven.
Palascinta filled with ground walnuts and sugar.
Served with warm apricot marmalade.
Ilona Martonfi is the author of three poetry books,
Blue Poppy, (Coracle Press, 2009.) Black Grass,
(Broken Rules Press, 2012). The Snow Kimono,
(Inanna Publications, 2015).
Image courtesy of Wikicommons.