“Blood Relatives” by Laurinda Lind

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Martha Dunfee

Blood Relatives

My laugh comes from the French people
in Ogdensburg, New York, fertile warm

Catholics and gamblers with glands
for gossip, for generosity. Anna’s mother

made her marry her cousin Pierre and
interrupted the reception to lock them

in an upstairs room. Anna had eleven
children and never fell in love until she

met her daughter’s suitor, an agony
of love after grinding, grinding, the fatal

light, the poison joy. The double beau
averted scandal, married the child,

grieved the woman, grew old and
puttered in the yard. I wasn’t born yet

but I can hear that desperate trio laughing
over wine. The future dark, and life abundant.


Peterson_L-1230rtLaurinda Lind teaches in New York’s North Country, near the St. Lawrence River. Some poetry acceptances/ publications have been in Blueline, Bluestem, Comstock Review, Constellations, Main Street Rag, Memoryhouse, Paterson Literary Review, Radius, and Uproot; also anthologies Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan (New Rivers Press) and AFTERMATH: Expressions of Loss and Grief (Radix Media). She is the 2018 winner of the Keats-Shelley Prize for adult poetry.