A broken porcelain doll on a mass grave.
Small hands, which held the doll.
My granddaughter Zahra
— Exhumed
her name on the casket.

Remember how we got lost on Majevica Mountain?
Where wild blueberries grow.

When I dream, you are always there:
White tombstone under a plum tree.
As I am fleeing Kalesija, by the river Spreča,
they burn our houses, the mosque.
We are loaded onto sealed cattle wagons.
Scabies, head lice, and frostbite.
The year is 1992. War in Bosnia —
Men rounded up from ghetto villages:
Previous autumn, neighbours,
who had helped harvest our maize.
Wild mint. Wildflowers. Lilies.
Warn about mine fields.

A child in lime-green dress
carrying a doll.

My granddaughter Zahra.

~ Ilona Martonfi

Ilona Martonfi is author of two poetry books, Blue Poppy, Coracle Press, 2009, and Black Grass, Broken Rules Press, 2012. She is also an editor and creative writing teacher. She published in numerous magazines including, Descant, Vallum, Accenti, The Fiddlehead, Serai. She is founder/producer of the Montreal Yellow Door and Visual Arts Cnetre Readings and co-founder of Lovers and Others. She received the QWF 2010 Community Award.

Read more of Ilona Martonfi’s poetry here.

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