my grandmother was an alchemist

her tree root hands, kneading, teasing
threads of dough, ‘til they’re guitar-string
fine. plucked quavers, plucked eyebrows

plucked ducks, hung-up and headless
singing empty notes, through empty necks
they’re red, they’re red, they’re red, they’re red

and so am i. she spins a web with sparse
precision, symphonies stretched between
able fingers. then she hangs them up to dry

those knuckles have kneaded and shaped
for years; prodding family across borders
like tree-root tendrils, searching, searching

always searching, for sunlight and wet,
life-giving rain; the better-fucking-education
while grandmother perches, stretching her dough

waiting for recoil, when it all comes together
supple and soft, and springy to touch. waiting, waiting
to feed the hordes that still
remainso far
from home