Immigrant Verbs


March 21, 2022 by The Citron Review

by Lucia Cherciu


If your beloved friends from your youth forgot about you,
don’t worry. After all, living in another part of the world
steals you from friends, like living in a world with no summer.
Make new friends, like chicory. Obdurate, light-blue,
it grows on the side of the road, meeting the eye
of summer, the gold of secrets, dispelling the fears
of travelers and souls forlorn. If old friends gave you up,
pay the water bill for someone in need. Like a petitionary prayer,
making a new friend means you dig a well
or pay for someone’s heating bill in a long winter.
Do not bemoan the loss of old friends: they held your hand
as a guide. Their time with you, the first flutter
of daffodils. Friends are like summer: sweet or somber.
Brew some rosemary tea to keep alive the memory,
to remember the salt of sauntering through an old town
where you know all the streets, all the benches,
best bakeries. Disgruntled or persnickety,
suave or serene, friends who don’t write back
are like an adjective you thought was always married
to a noun only to find out that summer
slips into sleepy shades, teaches the tenderness
of new grammar, sleek syllables, sly maps.


Dr. Lucia Cherciu is the author of five books of poetry, including Train Ride to Bucharest (Sheep Meadow Press, 2017), which received the Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize. Her work was nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net. She is the 2021-2022 Dutchess County Poet Laureate. 



One thought on “Immigrant Verbs

  1. Glenn Brigaldino says:

    Resonates true, old friends, seemed to be forever, only to evaporate into yesterdays

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