Tuesday, November 4, 2014

FinNALA Newsletter November 2014 Volume 7 Number 4

FinNALA Newsletter

November 2014, Volume 7, Number 4

Publication of the Finnish North American Literature Association

© November 3, 2014

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Literary Journal


A FinnFest 2015 issue of Kippis! is under discussion. Please watch for further information.

The New Orphic Review is a literary magazine devoted to publishing stories, poems and essays up to 10,000 words. It has had work reprinted in Journey Prize Stories and Best American Mystery Stories.

A man beaten nearly to death awakens in an alder grove near a marsh in Manning Park, B.C., unable to remember who he is or how he has come to be there. He has no identification in his pockets, no shoes on his feet. From his very first breath, he must orient himself in a world that seems alien to him, possessed by the desire to flee, due to a sense of overwhelming threat.
            According to the author, Ernest Hekkanen, I’m Not You is a fictional tribute to nihilism. “Because my anonymous character doesn’t know who he is, he must define himself in terms of what he is not. He’s in exile here on earth. In this regard, he’s not unlike original man.”
I'm Not You can be purchased for $20.00 from New Orphic Publishers. Send a cheque to 706 Mill Street, Nelson, B.C., Canada, V1L 4S5.


Esko’s Corner
An Illustrated History of Esko and Thomson Township

Esko’s Corner is a thematic anthology of a rural community near Duluth, Minnesota, settled by Finnish immigrants in the late 19th century. Published by the Esko Historical Society with the aid of a Finlandia Foundation grant, the 387-page hardcover book includes stories of immigration, assimilation, language change, early farming methods, the cooperative movement, “Karelia Fever” and many other Finnish-American themes.
Esko’s Corner includes several photos of pioneer families—nearly always with their prized horses. The man holding the reins in this 1900 photo, Joseph Juntunen Sr., emigrated from Finland in 1880 and later acquired 80 acres of “rocks and brush” in Thomson Township. Juntunen’s farm would become one of the leading dairies in northern Minnesota.. (Esko Historical Society photo).

Basketball was instantly popular among Thomson Township’s predominantly Finnish-American populace when the first high school opened in 1920-21. In this 1923 team photo, the initials on the ball represent Lincoln High School, later to become Esko High School. The new community history, Esko’s Corner, includes a chapter on the school’s traditionally strong sports programs. (Esko Historical Society photo)

Esko’s Corner contains original maps and about 160 photos. To order, send $35 to the Esko Historical Society, P.O. Box 83, Esko, MN 55733 or via order form at eskohistory.com.


Creative Contributions

Prose, Poetry, & Memoir

Crystal Cameo
By Lisbeth Holt

The face glistening in the cameo
Seemed familiar –
Its appearance kept altering
Yet seemed so familiar:
My female ancestors, perhaps,
And now all a hidden part of me,
Yearning for expression
In a chain of connectedness
Providing continuity.
They played their parts on this planet, once,
And now it is I who must live my destiny.
I feel a strange serenity
As if they were somehow watching over me:
Anna, Susanna, Elisa, Marja,
Some ancient wisps of memories
Cling to my psyche
Of all those proud strong women
And their histories
Glimpsed so briefly in my dream
Of the crystal cameo.
I am receptive to their guidance.
I hear their faint whispers in the wind.
My spirit sustains the eternal flame we share,
And I carry that torch of life
Forward to my daughters in turn.
Mothers! Daughters! Grandmothers!
Ephemeral images in a crystal cameo
Revealing a fair woman
Looking much like my mother, my daughter.
I look in her eyes and see it is me.

Travelbylis at aol dot com
Two Poems
By Angela Ahlgren
a susurration of leaves in the wind
sounds like fine rain falling
thin green coins flash and flip
a trembling emerald blue on blue
The liquid steel surface breaks
waves wash over rock.
One moment I am singing in the car
the next my cheeks stream with tears.
Four Poems
By Charles Peltosalo


Cruise the streets in predawn sonic waves,
Some-ia paperboys roll up to coffee joints loaded, ready.
From D.C. to Fargo,
From L.A. to Toronto,
From the heart of deep Chicago to
Sleepy towns not far from Pedro’s,
When you call them,
They come find you or
Arrive before and sit behind you.

Every time I want a silent corner during breakfast
The waitress channels, upticks,
The leisure of this day’s blend gets blown before the notion’s even known.
Hands raise, fingers signal,
A microfacial twitch, an eyebrow shift,
A bottom lip hints a stubbled ‘hello’.
Each snatch my peace before I taste it;
Color my hashbrowns gravy-gone:
My brigade prints the menu.
Watchers script-read pages past this scene know my schedule,
So psychic and eerily ahead of you-
They are simply always there,
My people with whom the same air I share.
I’ve witnessed every head in the joint turn to either side.
As if parted by a comb while
At the other end of the room one of mine would recognize, wink, signal;
Once even sang on the stage as every head simultaneously swiveled away:
“Hey, Mr. Spaceman(wink with light-beam eyes) won’t you please…..”,
Reminding me I was not alone,
Then with another simple flex of mind, remove the part that spread the crowd,
Returned them to their random time.
Once by choice, an ortho-Church thing, quiet sanctum sanctorum,
Big potluck: pick your pew, I got a hiss or a heal; another tight squeeze.
Each tricky days where Spring ice held my blades’ back edge
Until the weeds’ sweet reprieve.
Afraid I had to believe,
Sometimes now I know.
Native Americans aptly name a Great Mystery.
Buddha stressed 4 til 7, but
When prodded about his big belly said:
“I’m too vain to have noticed!”
Let’s all hope some sort of savior drives the morning star.
On sleepy Saturdays or Sundays here on the ground,
We pry from mattresses, stroll and seek solitary coffee-company,
But some of us aren’t you and me.

 Heaven just begins at sky.
Some angel’s pose or alien’s ruse perhaps for fun or
The reverse and you’re the one stuck.
Some mornings, I like neither words, you know the ones;
They’re just people, too,
More like interstellar chameleons, or
Other Side vaudevillians.

Some-ias, countryfolk, old bums, young rockers,
NASA-types seem to be the ones to notice their psionic neighbors.
Maybe they’re related.
Usually my skin will shiver, goosebump angels drawing in, raising hairs;
My thoughts are never for sure my own,
My channels so rabbit-eared.
Watchers so psychic and eerily ahead of you,
Simply always there to
Artfully push along the times.

One said: “It’s nothing more, nothing less than to see things clearly.”
That I do,
What it is,
Who they are,
Doesn’t really matter.
They aren’t you and me, but,
Then they are.
At least they visit, or never leave,
Weave electric the living circle
Shrouding a Great Mystery.

Cloud hunt,
A doe’s stride,
Cross the close ridge lightly.
Too much thought burns off the lingering haze,
Makes the mountain fog drift skittish,
Scares the magic mist like some
Touchy deer smelling you on the wind,
You catch a glimpse of ears uplifted blending into the wooded grays.
A brown-haired woman conjures clouds with her closed caramel eyes, dreams deep rhythms in the valley,
Sheathes the hills with listening sky,
Calls the closing wind waiting.
It steps slowly forward like a white-tail who senses his doe’s sleep is over.
Her ear nuzzled, the day begins.

Herring Pond
The great School’s shining million supple sheets shimmer in the quiet waters,
Twisting silver ribbons curl like luminescent smoke,
Then descend into the green spring depths of Herring Pond.
Articulate fins like children’s fingers deftly trace water’s upper edge,
Then the trace’s trail is resewn by the seamless stitchery of waters reappearing.
The shingled mirrors of their scales dart through the water-bent sun like 100’s,
Then 1,000’s of silver coins tossed en masse that flip and spin in the slow spring’s rise.
They glint chaotic like a sheet of mercury shaken in a sunbeam,
Like a million crystal windows reflecting the day’s stained glass, or
The emerald edge of a twisting whirlpool made of spiraling metal mail.
The uncountable gathering sliced the water’s dense parade.
My schoolboy’s sight or child’s dream was awestruck by such numbers:
The jewels escape the deep, living diamonds, silver dollars, all atwitch of one mind,
Each eye like one upon me, spellbound by such a swarm of shimmering, shivering life.
Testimony to the magic that seethes below each surface, be it the waking or the dream,
The billion herring of Herring Pond swam the young me past dry land and words,
Then drowned me in their beauty.
Otter Pond
Otter shrine knelt in pond prayer:
Immigrant Japanese canoe-slide caretakers,
Brackish sidereal Chesapeake ice-skaters,
Visit frozen spirit.
Oaks old as Indians dead stand the daybreak watch.
Primal bass survives,
Curves through Shinto scrags,
Scoffs lure-snagged wood.
Fade-away fins disappear in green-spring depths,
Circumnavigate sleeping Winter turtle dens
That support our planet on their diatomic shells,
2-headed deep in the leaf-scattered sand.
Lord Heron blasts blue wings:
Delicate surge of brute flight by canoe slides spirit-ridden,
Circles sunken temple.
Royal feathers alight regal, dexterous, awesome
On fallen trees bent reverently to
The sleeping otter’s aqueous dreams.

“Pillow Cats"
Photo by Charles Peltosalo

Minnesota Winter Survival Skills
By Diane Dettmann

The following essay was originally published on the national “Women’s Voices for Change” website. With winter knocking on our doors, I decided to share it with FinNALA readers.

I’ve lived in Minnesota my whole life and survived many winters, some of which I actually enjoyed. Last year the Polar Vortex rolled over Minnesota and we experienced one of the coldest, most brutal winters on record. No matter where you went—Fleet Farm, the local grocery store or church—the winter weather was the main topic of conversation.
Many nights, wrapped in a blanket, I sat in my favorite chair listening to the 40 mile per hour wind gusts roaring past the window and thought, “Why in the world do I live in this frigid state?”
I guess over the years, like an animal hibernating in the winter, many Minnesotans, including myself, have devised creative ways of coping with the bitter wind chills and sub-zero temperatures. In case you’re planning a trip to Minnesota any time soon or heaven forbid move here, the following list might change your mind.
Minnesota Winter Coping Skills

Minnesota winter fashion is all about layers—lots of them. As the temperature drops the layers increase. You’ll know you have enough on when it hurts to bend over and pull on your boots.

Oh, speaking of boots, remember those chains drivers use to put on their tires in the winter? Well, good news, you can actually buy them for your boots! On my daily winter walks, I seldom leave home without them.

Schedule your meals around traffic reports and weather updates, so you know how early to leave for work in the morning or cut out in the evening to avoid the pile ups on the freeways. Always have at least two alternate routes as backup.

When the wind chill drops below zero, make sure you cover your face to prevent frostbite. Bundle up even if you have to wrap your five year-old’s “Shrek” scarf around your face. Who knows you might even start a new winter fashion fad.

Looking for adventure? Then ice fishing might be just the sport you’re looking for. You get a pretty darn good workout chopping that hole in the ice and who knows you might even catch a fish before your toes turn numb.

When the subzero temperatures and bitter wind chills keep you homebound, relax knowing you have the whole day to drink coffee, read the paper and work your crossword puzzles. Well, this might not be the case, if your kids are cheering in the morning as the “school closed” announcements flash across the TV screen.

Invest in a high power electric blanket. Before retiring, crank the dial to “high”. Wait two hours. Pull on your flannel pajamas and socks. Crawl under the covers. Snuggling and hot sex optional, but highly recommended.

If all else fails, head to the Mall of America, turn the kids loose at the indoor amusement park and shop the day away. Better yet book a flight and head for a warmer climate even a week away from the Minnesota deep freeze helps.
Not sure what the local weather reporter’s predicting for this year’s winter, but I think I’ll keep this list handy.

Photo taken in 1946 on my Finnish grandparent's (Paul and Hilja Kaurala) farm in Babbitt, MN you can see the sauna in the background.

Diane Dettmann is the author of Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants and Twenty-Eight Snow Angels A Widow’s Story of Love, Loss, and Renewal which was recently named runner-up in the “Beach Book Festival Awards”. Diane’s shared her writing at local author events, festivals and international conferences in Finland and Canada. Diane’s website: http://outskirtspress.com/snowangels


Two Poems

By Don Hagelberg

 Brandied by Sweets
For Ron Silliman,
Thanks for the help.
I lived in a one room suite at the “M&M” Hotel
On 5th and Howard Streets when I got
Into the city, waiting for the court
To grind its beef with me
Down into one edible sentence
For me to eat in the Federal Penitentiary.
I didn’t know the bar below the hotel;
I bought my beer from the grocery store
At four for a dollar and when
I was read the verdict, served
An abstinent 1964-1965 as refuse,
Saying “No” to the killing in Vietnam and
“No” to the killing of President Kennedy.
I got out and drank, a lout,
Waking up to the aches politically buttonholed
In my stomach by sugar-hungry alcohol.
“There had to be something to live for?” a droll
Voice whispered after one-too-many “Skoals!”
While I sobered up, I befriended
A would-be bartender from the “M&M” Hotel’s
Ground floor bar. His history was that he
Served customers, mostly reporters from
The old Examiner and Call-Bulletin, who were
Tired of typing, wanting to talk, while
Others simply lined the edges, crumpled.
This bartender tendered bar and drank
Only later to pass-out on the floor before
His customers passed-out the swinging doors.
And so the want-to-be poet and
The would-be engineer sobered each other up,
Until a woman drove-by in a side-car
Version of a motorcycle and hit me, the poet, so
That I fell into the body of her machine.
She died when I was eleven months sober and her tribute
Was the printing of a posthumous book of her poetry.
While I wrote the instructions on how
The volume was to look and feel, I could not read
The internal text until thirty years after her death. Today,
I’m able to write again: a little now-and-then ode, when
Bee-thoughts don’t attack the strange honey as the enemy’s.
For "Odie"Prison camp mornings
Uniformed by minds:
cut to weigh equally,
evidenced hard, loafed in ovens,
pronounced guilty of hunger,
then disposed of as trash-crime.

Valley of Death
By M.L. King

Orono, Maine 2006
     Sitting at my computer desk, I finish writing a response to The Song of Roland, an Iliadic, Medieval, French epic.  Yawning, I get up, turn on the TV, click to PBS, and recline on my couch.  I alternately peruse a geology text to prepare for a test on desert environments and watch Nature.  On the screen, various animals hunt and feed while others hide, flee, and are fed upon.  Rising and heading for the kitchen to get a fresh glass of caffeine-free Coke, I turn down the volume on the tube and place Judas Priest’s Sad Wings of Destiny CD into my stereo.  The soda goes flat on the coffee table and my textbook slips off my chest and onto the floor as I fall asleep to the melodic “Epitaph.”


I wake in a burning, battered city,
Separated from my century.
My former comrades lie in heaps,
Twisted, clasped to the vanquished in ghastly
Embraces.  Sealed, as in wax, some faces
Grimace with lust and hate.  Mouths
Are frozen in last gasps of life,
And eyes are fixed in pain and horror. 
Armor once shiny and blades once sharp,
Now pierced and snapped in two, rust
In gelling blood and white and yellow
Gore.  I take what I need from the dead
And leave their tomb of flaming, tumbling
Temples.  I walk aimlessly through 
Forests and fields and into a desert. 
The terrain becomes more unforgiving
With each mile that I wander on
Across uncharted lands.

The sun blazes, bleaches bones
Of broken bodies nailed to creaking
Crosses beside the road.  Emptied
Vessels long forgotten lie
In burning sands below the unknown
Victims that cook on the crooked crucifixes.
Lining the path, dull and ragged
Shards of shattered urns sink
Into the sands that cook my feet.
Beads of sweat drench my clothes,
Which collect the grit and dust swirling
In the arid wind.  I wrap my face
With a silk scarf and wipe my sweaty
Hands on my stained white robe.
Shrieking vultures shred corpses
Caked in grime lying mangled
Along the trail, slumped over
Stumps, or impaled on rusted iron
Spits.  Skulking scavengers gorge
Themselves on green and gray entrails
And rotting tissue.  Distant cliffs
Distorted in heat mirage echo
Howls of rabid canines calling
Packs to hunt in sage-littered
Dry gulches.  A steamy wind blows
Across the valley.  Silt slung
By sudden gusts pelts my garments,
Slips through layers, grates against
My skin, and stings me eyes.
Along a strip of bushes budding
Under brown leaves of twisted 
Trees, a ten-foot-long lizard
Lurks, lunges at a browsing buck.
Jagged teeth gouge and tear
Gaping gashes in thin hide.
Infected by the beast’s acidic
Drool, the deer leaps away,
But weakens day by day.  Following
The taste of larvae-laced meat
In the air, the lizard finds the stag
Standing, stomping, and snorting, but unable
To flee.  Claws clutch hind
Quarters, fangs flay open flesh.
Hisses greet groans; jaws
Grind gristle and bone.  A challenger
Smells the kill, advances to steal
The meal.  The giant reptiles rush,
Rip into each other.  Incisors
Dripping disease slice through scales
And pierce limbs and paunches.  As the duel
Drags on, a tiger pounces from cover
And carries the carcass away.

As I walk onward—
Toward whatever lies ahead—
My sword hacks into hungry boars
Charging from behind brush and slashes
Serpents lashing at my legs.  Drawn
And raised, my gleaming steel blade
Carves carnivores, drips blood. 
Seeking a secure place to rest
And view the wretched void around me,
I climb a crumbling mesa.  A cooler
Breeze blows atop the narrow
Table.  A drink from a flask of water
Refreshes my mind.  A few dates
And bits of bread sustain my strength.
Wine lifts my spirits.  Below me,
Drifting dunes and stranded stands
Of stunted trees stretch to hazy
Horizons.  Sandstone towers loom
Above desert pavement.  Pale
Clouds hover motionless over
Sheer shale cliffs.  Canyons and chasms
Divide barren plateaus.  With my blade
Cleaned, sharpened, and sheathed, I descend
And renew my search for a stream that will lead me
Out of this horrid land.

The Gateway Arch
An arch between America and Finland

 By Mirjam Rand, Photo by Eero Sorila

Respected as one of the masters of American 20th century architecture, Eero Saarinen (1910 -1961) was born in Finland on the 37th birthday of his famous architect father Eliel Saarinen.
A landmark seen by many Americans of Finnish background is the Helsinki Railway Station Designed by Eliel Saarinen. At age 13 Eero moved to the United States with his family. In 1929 he was a student of sculpture in Paris, France and completed his studies at the Yale School of Architecture in 1934.
In the United States there is a long list of architectural monuments by Eero Saarinen including the Gateway Arch in St Louis Missouri. In 1948 he won the design competition for the Gateway Arch, which was completed in the 1960s, but the reward was sent to his father by mistake. Father and son settled the situation in good humor. The cost of construction for the Arch was 13 million dollars. In today’s currency that price would be $97,300,000.
This stainless steel arch, on the west bank of the Mississippi River, sits where the city of St. Louis began. Gateway Arch was built to honor President Thomas Jefferson, the explorers Lewis and Clark, and the settlement that fur traders Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau started here in 1764. 
Gateway Arch is the tallest memorial in the United States and is the highest arch in the world. Earthquake proof and with footings embedded  60 feet deep, the  630 foot arch is a hollow stainless steel tube that can sway up to nine inches in either direction. It can stand winds of up to 150 miles per hour. Inside the tube a lift system takes visitors to the observation deck at the top. Over four million people visit the Gateway Arch annually. This landmark is fittingly an arch between the United States and Finland.

The Gateway Arch by Eero Saarinen in St Louis, the highest Arch in the world stands proudly piercing the sky at 630 ft.

Mirjam Rand's latest literary project American Monuments: The Stories Behind Our Icons makes an ideal gift. It includes the Gateway Arch and 25 other American monuments. Xlibris USA ISBN: 978-1-4990-4336-5 Tel: 1-888-795-4274


By Eila Savela
In winter we forget.
So much lies buried
under the weight of drifts.
Strangely, the first flurries fall in gentle waves,
floating in translucent swells.
On contact, the heavy flakes dissolve
Into wet beads, pooling in quicksilver
streams that drip from the underbrush and eaves.
Autumn’s embers sputter in the wet snow.
The vague dread that filters through
as autumn withers and dies
never prepares us for the coldest season.
At best, we recall senseless fragments,
numbed feelings,
purged of the traumatic elements.
Nothing prepares us for the shock of arctic air,
the shatter of crazed ice beneath our feet,
the stinging slap of freezing sleet
mixed with snow and bitter grief.
Cursed winds rip through the fragments,
stripping the season bare.
Only the husks of wild, perfumed flowers,
barren stalks,
break through the snow.
Colors fade to monotonous tones
of ivory and grey.
Following the edge of lean shadows,
the waning light lingers
on birch trees glazed with ice,
stranded in snow that
blankets the cold, hard earth
in slow, silent drifts,
buried under the weight of snow.
An Old Midwife’s Tale
By E. Savela
Great-Aunt Aili was teaching me to make a himmeli, a traditional Finnish Christmas decoration, meaning a labor-intensive pain in the you-know-what. We sat across from each other at the kitchen table, sorting and cutting straw.
It was time for one of her stories.
“When I was a girl, younger than you, I used to help äiti[i] milk the cows. Back then we didn’t have machines but did the milking by hand—did everything by hand, don’t you know. But I didn’t mind. They were such lovely cows . . . Muurikki, Mansikki, and Mairikki.” She leaned across the table.“Have I ever told you about the tontut?”[ii]
“The what? What the heck are tonttus?”
“Not tontus . . . tontut. They’re the barn elves.”
“You’re telling me that there are little elves in tights and pointy caps hanging out in the barn?”
“No, of course not. And don’t look at me like that. I’m talking about real elves now.”
Despite myself I was intrigued.
“They’re earth spirits. You can’t see them, except maybe a glimpse from the corner of your eye. Äiti saw them, though. She said they’re like baubles of light, flitting here and there.”
“How do you know they’re real?”
“Oh, seeing isn’t the only way of believing. I could feel their presence, especially in the hayloft, where äiti left offerings for them.”
“Offerings? Like what?”
“Usually a bowl of cream or a slice of buttered rye bread, sometimes a piece of cheese. And she sang to them when she did the milking, to keep mischief makers at bay.”
“Mischief makers?”
Keitolaiset[iii] and shape-shifters, bears and wolves.”
She had to be kidding. But I could usually tell when she was joking and she seemed to be perfectly serious, even distracted, lost in the depths of memory. Then she began to sing in a low husky tone:

Pikku tontut, navetan tontut
kuule lauluni.
Kiltit tontut, navetan tontut,
suojele mei’än karjaa—
kaunis Mairikki, tumma Muurikki,
punainen Mansikki—
ja tuokaa makeaa kermaa.
Kiltit tontut, navetan tontut
kuule lauluni.[iv] 

A soft, sad silence followed. With a sigh, Aunt Aili roused herself. “Oh, it’s been too long since I’ve heard that song.”
“How long?”
“Let me think. Since isä,[v] your great-grandfather Kalervo, was killed in the mines. That would have been the summer of ’23. Äiti was too busy to do the milking anymore. Your grandfather Tero and I took over.”
“What happened to the tontut? Did Grandpa Tero leave them offerings, too?”
“No, but I did. I was under strict orders from äiti to keep them happy . . . or else.”
“Or else what?”
“You don’t want to know.”

i. Mother. Great-Aunt Aili’s mother was my paternal great-grandmother Marjatta, who emigrated from Finland to Minnesota with her husband Kalervo Koski in 1910.
ii. Brownies.
iii. Malevolent elves.
iv. Little elves, barn elves, hear my song. Kind elves, barn elves, protect our livestock—beautiful Sweetie, dusky Blackie, red Strawberry—and bring sweet cream. Kind elves, barn elves, hear my recitation
v. Father.

Museum Piece
By Kaarina Brooks

Look! A skimmer!
Haven’t seen one in years.
Not since we were
at Aunt Elsa’s farm in ’49.
And look at that butter churn!
Just like Aunt Elsa’s!
The cream refused to turn to butter
till she took over the churning.
There’s a what-cha-ma-callit!
Grandpa used one just like that
to slice slats from pine logs
and weave them into baskets.
Hey, aren't those skis a hoot!
With leather straps
to use with curly-toe boots.
I had a pair like that…
My God!
I just realized—
my whole life is
in a museum!

Two Poems

By Wendy S Anderson

This Morning the Doctor Said Cancer

Ruby is talking to her garden,
on her knees with her trowel
and those old pink gloves.
An ocean is coming, she says,
and it will race into my head,
tumble over rocks and moss and thorny spots,
fill every nook
with salt and sand
and the deep-green smell of foam.
Anemones will float
from the reef of my hair,
my nose will be a shell,
my lips a perfect blue stone.

I will not look after you, she says,
my hands as useless and frail as fog.
The rest of me will be given to seaweed
that tangles up my ears
and muffles everything but waves
pitching up, then down, then back again,
sweeping me along.

Little Miss
She was always falling
or running into things,
an inelegant, clumsy child.
Like the time she limped
and wore those purple-gold
arms to third grade,
or that bright violet eye
one day to high school.
She said later
she didn’t much
recall her girlhood
but for one recurring dream:
her father,
on the floor
by her bed,
waxed like a candle.
She would light him up,
her fear melting
as he burned.

Wendy Anderson’s book An Ancient Trail to Home, Finishing Line Press, Kentucky will be out soon.


FinNALA Newsletter Editorial Team:
Terri Martin, Editor-in-Chief
Sirpa Kaukinen, Assistant Editor
Beth Virtanen, Publisher