Up two stone steps: the house with its grey-tiled roof
and cerulean-blue door. A veranda of stone and timber.
Long windows and narrow red shutters.
Great-grandfather’s room is closed.
A bridal cake tree. Floor-length wedding veil.
Great-grandmother Victoria’s hand-loomed wedding dress.
Hooped crinoline, lime-coloured. Needlepoint
of a shepherdess, she embroidered.
Three sons and a daughter.
I stand at the gate of my maternal grandmother Mariska’s
childhood house in Kisjenö, Hungary. The year is 1897.
Great-grandfather, György, left his wife. Victoria gave
her infant daughter to family. Kept her three sons at home.
There in the farmyard, juniper shrub. Round
yellowish-green gooseberry. Peach tree and pear tree.
Mariska’s faded homespun. Knee-high boots. Four years
of grade school. Servant girl, at nine.
Candles and lanterns dispel darkness. On
the oak table: bean soup. Crisp, round potato bread baked in a
wood-burning oven. Sprinkled with ground walnuts and sugar:
Pancakes served with a little side dish of warm apricot jam.
On the last day of June,
the heat gave way to rainfall:
ChișinăuIts – Wikimedia Public Domain
First Published In The Fiddlehead
Guest Author Bio
Ilona Martonfi Author of two poetry books, Blue Poppy, (Coracle Press, 2009.) Black Grass, (Broken Rules Press 2012). Published in Vallum, Accenti, The Fiddlehead, Serai. Founder/producer of The Yellow Door and Visual Arts Centre Readings, co-founder of Lovers and Others. QWF 2010 Community Award.
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