By Karen Blomain
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Extra resources for Coalseam: Poems from the Anthracite Region
She carne when the others moved away, and she gave me mushrooms, touching my cheek. I kissed her forehead: it was damp and burning. I found myself sprinting the whole way home with her bag of mushrooms. The blue sky rang like an anvil stung with birds, as I ran for a thousand miles to Poland and further east, to see her dancing, her red skirt wheeled in the Slavic sun. Page 52 MAKING SOAP Nancy Deisroth Iused to make my own soap, made it of drippins, like lard, old lard drippins; you'd save that and when you had about four pound of drippin, I'd get a can of lye, and dissolve so much water, you know, cold water; dissolve the lye in cold water, 'cause that thing boils.
I remember the first rolled rags hidden in paper sacks. Page 50 I remember Baba showing me how to wrap the torn white sheets saying in Russian, this is for us. Just for us. The men should never know. I remember you telling me too late what to expect. And then, only stories of what would happen: dogs would follow then, there was a smell, I am still weak at the sight of my own blood. I can feel it start early, before the flow, and I accept it the same way you have come to accept my weakness, packing me in when I come home drunk, knowing God is punishing you for some terrible sin.
3. Anthracite coal-Pennsylvania-Schuylkill River Valley-Poetry. 4. )-Poetry. 5. American poetry-2Oth century. I. 54080327981-dc20 95-53758 CIP Marketing and Distribution Fordham University Press University Box L Bronx, NY 10458 PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Page v To the memory of my grandparents: Ernest and Anna Hein Watkins and Emile and Maude Kielty Blomain, whose evocative tales and lovingly preserved sense of history were responsible for this book. . . and to my friend, Ernst Koch.
Coalseam: Poems from the Anthracite Region by Karen Blomain