Sere by Irena Praitis

The mountain
will bask,
and green,
in the summer
we won’t see.

The local innkeeper
once advertised
a fairy grotto
in the sand cave
where we store shovels
to bury our dead.

Beyond the barbed wire,
gold leaves spin
through shafts
of sunlight.
Leaves, not snow.

How we will ache
when it comes,
from the cold,
for the sere
beauty of it.

Römhild Work Education Camp, 1944

Irena Praitis
Irena_Praitis-download_2_optIrena Praitis is the author of six books, most recently One Woman’s Life (Diversion Press, 2010), Straws and Shadows (Moon Tide Press, 2012), and The Last Stone in the Circle (Red Mountain Press, forthcoming 2016). She is a professor of literature and creative writing at Cal State Fullerton.