Issue > Poetry
Lucia Cherciu

Lucia Cherciu

Lucia Cherciu is a professor of English at SUNY Dutchess and the author of five books of poetry, including Train Ride to Bucharest (Sheep Meadow Press, 2018) and Edible Flowers (Main Street Rag, 2016). Currently, she is working on her first novel. 

A Hundred Ways of Walking Through the Pain


I want to call my friend and tell her
to place an open bottle of red wine
and a large pretzel—colac—above the door

and leave them there for forty days
so the spirit can come home
and feast.

I want to tell her to carry a bucket
of water to the grave of her husband
every day for forty days.

I want to tell her to leave one light on
in the house
for forty days.

I want to tell her to give away
one sweater, one shirt, one hat
to all of his friends

until all of his clothes are gone—
start with their sons,
and keep a flannel blue shirt for herself.

I want to tell her to ask all their friends
to give away bread and novels
and to say "In this world, may it be

for your soul;
in the other world,
may it be for Murray's soul."

But I don't want to scare her
with our rituals from home,
so instead

I translate a prayer from Romanian
and repeat it
till I fall asleep.

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