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This poem is taken from PN Review 239, Volume 44 Number 3, January - February 2018.

Four Poems Maya C. Popa
An Appetite for Silver

My grandmother pilfered dimes and brooches,
lining them under the runner’s loose corner.
To her mother, the reason was obvious.
The baker kept a magpie in the rafter.
No sooner had she slid her coins
across the counter, the bird dislodged,
brushing silken blackness past her hand.
The shock shivered down to a half-finished thing,
my grandmother shaped by first impressions.

Would you believe if I told you she became
a jeweller? That the appetite kept up her whole life,
though she was still, in those days,
a practical woman, wrapping daughters in twin furs
during earthquakes, their bodies nearly crushed
by the grand piano. The next morning,

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