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Poetica Magazine
                                           Contemporary Jewish Writing

About Judith Skillman

Judith Skillman is a resident of Newcastle, Washington and a dual citizen of US and Canada. Her work has appeared in Cimarron Review, Threepenny Review, Zyzzyva, and other journals. She is the recipient of awards from Academy of American Poets and Artist Trust. Her new collection is A Landscaped Garden for the Addict, Shanti Arts Press , 2021. Visit www.judithskillman.com

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Diaspora
Judith Skillman

The reed hills take the brunt

of wailing flung from wind,

and, where an arm reaches up

from the ground,


beneath mulch and dirt

shoveled in, only the exposed root

of a plane tree, elbow-bent and knotted,

hints at the body below.


Time goes by unaccounted, seasons

take. Thistles and scotch broom,

a few transplanted bouquets

of rosemary, trapped in hollows,


bend and mourn their once green-tipped

scent. An oboe of bone, a bit of wire—

concertina, leftover from the other war,

or the one after.


Come to the empty bowl

your head covered as if you

are a woman flying like Lot’s wife

up a steep path. Others will follow.


Come to the music of ghost notes,

the body of migrating birds

searching as one bird southward

in the throes of dispersion.