Issue Two


Summers were spent in motion
trimming the elm hedges and
kneading the dough
for the Quetschekuche
my father loved,
and how she sweated over the stove
in that cauldron of a kitchen.
And how she loved it because
it was hers, the coppertone range
and the chipped cupboards, the
pewter plates from the country she’d
left behind, and she hadn’t left it,
not really, she carried it with her,
the country and the silence,
and she planted it in the raised beds
with the snapdragons and the tiger
lilies and the cherry tomatoes that hung
like gifts from their furry stems.
Lisalein, she’d say, komm mal her
come here, come here, you’ll never
taste anything sweeter, and she rinsed
them with the hose and she was wrong
about many things but it was true
what she said. How many years
has it been, how many summers,
and I’ve never tasted anything
sweeter than the fruit she coaxed from
that unwilling Colorado dirt.

About L. Annette Binder
L Annette Binder's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Stone, Town Creek Poetry and JMWW, and her short fiction has appeared in the Pushcart Prize Anthology and the O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut story collection -- Rise (Sarabande 2012) -- received the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, and her first novel The Vanishing Sky (Bloomsbury) was published in 2020. She lives in New Hampshire with her family.