Licton Springs Review

Great-Aunt By Fumiko Schaub

i met her
once
a little woman
in sage-green kimono
emperor’s medal
pinned on her breast
her hair powder sugar

in a photo
i am actually standing
next to her
slightly leaning against
my mother
perhaps
mother’s hidden hand
pinching my skin lightly
smile, it tells

cradled inside the glass bookcase
her poetry
watched me grow
in high school textbook
i encountered the verse
she had conceived
as a young woman
and yet
nurtured with her blood
streaming through my body
in my mother’s womb
i had begun singing my songs
when she recited her poems
to my unseen ears.