Gail Fishman Gerwin
Collage "Winter Bling" by Nancy Scott
The Hungry Woman
Sasha, bring me some herring, this time no potato, no juice,
ach, the fish sticks between my teeth like shredded ribbons.
Did you hear me Sasha? More herring.
Not so long ago, not herring, only caviar before that winter
—the fire, horses' screams like ghosts in the night, the thieves.
Sasha, where is the herring? That winter, geese boiled alive,
honks seared the air, wolves howled at the embers, gnawed
on carcasses. For them cooked meat, their bellies full.
For us, our house in ashes, my furs gone, two winters
with your mother. Sasha, where are you?
Your mother, so cruel, all she can say, no babies yet?
Nosy shrew, she mocks my empty belly, sees my tears.
And you, Sasha, say nothing.
When she dies, we'll sell that hideous brooch she wears
over her sagging breasts, we'll eat caviar again. Sasha?
In "The Hungry Woman," Gail Fishman Gerwin put into words the story bursting to be told in Nancy Scott's collage "Winter Bling." Gail's memoir Sugar and Sand was a 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize finalist and, in addition to publication in multiple journals, she earned four consecutive Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards honorable mentions. She is an associate poetry editor of Tiferet.
Artist Nancy Scott is also a widely-published poet. She is the author of five books of poetry and managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal of the U.S.1 Poets' Cooperative in New Jersey. Her most recent chapbook, On Location (March Street Press, 2011), is a collection of ekphrastic poems written about works of art, including her own. www.nancyscott.net