Touch: The Journal of Healing


Tante Berta

    by Sherry O’Keefe


She searches yesterday’s pocket for coins

to take to market.  She’s  shopping for

tonight’s meal, something to go

with the wedge of cheese

wrapped in wax paper,

cooling in the tin

on the ledge outside our kitchen window.

Three squares of folded brown paper

and lengths of knotted string rest

in her bicycle basket as she

pedals the path to the 

bread store  and

the butcher.

Twice she

pauses to count

her  coins,  to think

about  tomorrow’s  meal,

then she stops at the newsstand

to trade three twists of dried Rosemary

for one large cone of bearded burgundy irises.

Cheddar and bratwurst, rye bread and

butter churned from our milk cow.

Silverware clatter and shuffled

feet,  our meal  steaming

on  mended  platters.

We bow our heads

but   while   we

pray, I vow to

chew more


© 2009 Sherry O’Keefe

Sherry O’Keefe, a descendent of a Montana pioneer, mother of two, sister to four, cousin to dozens, credits her Irish upbringing for her story-telling ways and the healing touch from stories passed down through the generations.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barnwood Poetry Review, Avatar Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Two Review, and Soundzine and Main Street Rag,and Touch: The Journal of Healing.  Her chapbook, Making Good Use of August is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.


Copyright © 2009

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.