width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses
Summer / Fall 2008


Eileen Donovan-Kranz



Where have all the old kitchens 
gone? The ones old Nanas
cooked in? Soapstone, 
formica, enameled cabinetry? 
Starburst clocks; canisters; and those stainless 
Steel spoons which always knew a stove-top
in which to rest?

And where have our old Nanas 
They’ve left behind such empty
spaces—spaces filled today 
with center islands (wired
for light and even sound, piped
for water), the granite having 
shoved aside round tables and
round Nanas, both. All those 
long countertops. 

Cold speckled stone lines the rooms 
where our Nanas once stood and
caps the spaces where our Nanas 
now lie. 
Have you no shame?

© 2008 Eileen Donovan-Kranz

But Don’t We All Have a Girl at the Bottom of the Sea?

It’s so cool, my kids say, to have a relative who died on the Titanic!

They repeat her tale: She was coming to America! To get
married!  One of those poor passengers! 

How they love each part: 
the wedding that never happened, the sad happiness
of the girl, the little suitcase that might have landed--splot!--at the bottom
of the sea. And her death: how special, like a cherry on top!

When I was a girl, death wasn’t so special. It was as
ordinary as our Monday holidays and Sunday
picnics among Holy Ghost Cemetery’s old and new
headstones. I once mentioned these visits 
at a dinner party.

You went for rubbings, or something? a blonde
woman asked, smoothing back her
hair. No, no, I said, remembering the daylong dallyings 
among dear ones and strangers. Forks clicked
against teeth and the hostess rose
to serve the coffee.

Still, my kids try their own tale with friends: We have a relative
who died on the Titanic! Other children too look back 
with strange stares: What-ever, they seem to say,
with eyes as cold
as the North Atlantic.

© 2008 Eileen Donovan-Kranz

Inevitible Losses

Pulled tight to the scalp, the cap hid it—
for a while. Brown curls hung on, but 
barely. The doll was balding.

A church sale find. The child wanted
her.  Wanted to make play date guests
ill with envy. The pink dress, lace
cap, button up shoes: all these
did the trick. Balding?

I tried to hide it. Mornings, when
cinching the shades, I reached down
to the bureau, cupped the loose locks
in my palm, tucked what I could
beneath the cap. Some days, by dawn,
like mice in cold weather, bits of brown 
huddled together on the floor.

I could pull all that hair loose.
Buy new hair! Shear some of my
own? Wrong color. Oh, the lengths 
a mother will go she never
knows till late one night she 
finds herself there:

Gluing locks of her sleeping
husband’s hair to a second-
hand doll, betting his loss,
if discovered, might be less
than the doll’s—and the girl’s—
put together. 

© 2008 Eileen Donovan-Kranz

About the Poet:

Eileen Donovan-Kranz teaches creative writing and composition at Boston College, having received an MFA from UMASS Amherst where she studied with George Cuomo (her advisor) and John Edgar Wideman (a generous reader). She has published fiction online recently in Storyglossia.com and StoneTableReview.com and earlier, in traditional format, in South Dakota Review, Pikeville Review and others. She was a finalist in the Fish International Short Story prize as judged by Frank McCourt.






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