Making Sauerkraut: 1943

by Janice D. Soderling

Aunt Fran and Mom sit giggling in pale sun;
a cabbage stink soaks Indiana grass.
They’ve shredded fifty heads. A sodden mass,
tubs full of salted green. They’re far from done.
Their giggles turn to howls when one says, “None.”
I ask, “What’s funny?” A brief gravitas.
Then they explode again. Fran says, “First class
privates.” Mom waves me off, “Go play now, hon.”

Their men have gone to war. It’s strange, this mirth,
from two who used to mostly frown and glare
as if just being happy was a sin.
They rule the roost. Have a rest from childbirth
a few years. Young, still pretty, free from care.
Tired women glad to be without their men.


Headshot_Author_Poetry_JSoderling 20141124

Janice D. Soderling is a former contributor to Mason’s Road. Her poetry, fiction and translations appear in many literary magazines, online and print. Recent and forthcoming publications include: Light, Think, Modern Poetry in Translation, Dark Horse, The Stockholm Review, Rotary Dial, Alabama Literary Review, Calamaro, Poetry Storehouse, The Evansville Review, Measure, Wasafiri, The Road Not Taken. She hails from the United States, but lives in Sweden.

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