gathering the shards of
family, assembling them
with clumsy, unsure hands.
The vanished world remains obscure,
glimpsed in recipes
a thousand ages old,
ice clacking in ancient highballs,
a fust of smoke in horsehair.
The emblematic gesture
of the cult is once again to be observed.
Celebrants gather, tragically eager.
The ceremonial knife
slides through the golden flesh.
PETER GOW is a teacher and editor living in Dedham, Massachusetts, but otherwise attached at the soul and boots to the Adirondack region, in particular Upper Saranac Lake.