girls their tongues by Abigail Zimmer

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girls their tongues by Abigail Zimmer


Russian Grandmother Kills Wolf

With Bare Hands & Axe


Left with a bandaged hand and living calf
which she calls dumb one and my sweet
stroking between its milk eyes, the woman
is not surprised to see November fall upon the yard
snow steaming from an empty body. 

It happened in quiet, rounding a corner
to spot the familiar crouch and intention
her father’s face snarling at her years later
how the first blow slid beneath the shoulder blade
how the palm reader said, Do not become red, 

how we dig feet in and hold and who will win? 
She who is called grandmother and neighbor
on the next farm over, the lost names
of daughter and malyutka. She who licks away fear
and closes the gate. This wolf like all wolves
this hand a perfect fist in a field of statues. 

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Abigail Zimmer is the author of girls their tongues and the chapbooks fearless as I seam through Dancing Girl Press and child in a winter house brightening through Tree Light Books. She lives in Chicago where she is the poetry editor for The Lettered Streets Press.