Though you don’t understand the words
you can hear a woman grieve
in her Swedish tongue, a dulcimer
laid across her lap, and her apron white
as the limestone house
standing behind , as the first streak
in her dark hair falling
among dry leaves the wind
has heaped on a hill.
The cold season is coming
and you can feel a sister grieve
in the way she plucks the strings
looking toward the river, knowing its birds
still have next year & other seasons left
to pluck reeds for their wild nest.