2021 Crabbe Competition – 3rd Prize
Adjudicator: Anne-Marie Fyfe
“Epilepsy?” (this my mother
“Of course gran’mutti didn’t have epilepsy.
The very idea!
A touch of petit mal, maybe…
…but that’s completely different.
Not epilepsy at all.
– And if it was, then not enough to count.”
(Grandmother – Gran’mutti – my mother’s mother,
lived a life of drama, dramatically:
dropping floorward frequently, without warning
wherever she was – even the dinner table –
Scattering, clattering silver, gilt,
Spilling silver-gilt tresses
with the gravy and the glasses
staining drawn red thread-work.
My grandfather, calm in crisis, scooping, lifting;
Blonde children at their plates
– unflapped, incurious,
Encircled by the fumes of Abendessen
And that was that.
A simple definition kept at bay
The ever-circling fumes of Zyklon B)
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