My grandmother’s hands bear the rough soil of the harvest while
Working her fingers around the yarn, piercing
Beads of dried peas and bent rose petals as she makes her
Last granddaughter’s holy crown.
And on the stove sits a steaming pot of dolma nearby:
A baker’s dozen she made with those rough hands,
Spooning the seeds out the fat red bell peppers
Carving lids of their popping stems
Old men hunched
On their old backs,
Tired of their old scarlet blood.
My grandmother’s lips bear
The sweet songs of lore that
Sing of legends in the village house, muttering
The sorrows of men as she creates her
Last granddaughter’s divine scepter of tears and tales.
And on the stool lays the Quran,
Her deepest companion, which passed from her mother,
Who, with her delicate fingers and the blessings of God,
Wrote every slipping letter
That have whispered the words of Allah
For a thousand years, and will a thousand more.
My grandmother’s heavy heart bears
The thick fluid with which I am kin,
Kin with the mad men who stormed through
The rolling plains of the Orient,
With striding horses pummeling the ground under their gate,
Their wooden bows hanging in slow, piercing silence
Blood that fought to
Place each hunted bone
On my sacred throne.
H.B. Akcan currently attends the Global Studies Academy of Clements High School. She is an avid reader, writer, and binge-watcher. Her work has been recognized by the Columbia College’s National Young Authors Contest and she has submitted her literature portfolio for the Davidson Fellowship.