My mother and her brother Jack
were born the same day. She
was thirteen years older, but he
used to tease her and call her his twin.
He always gave her violets on her birthday.
There's a photo of him before he went
to World War I: twelve nieces and nephews
clustered around him; he's in his khakis,
holding me and Nate, because we were youngest.
He was stationed in the Pyrenees.
From the hills, he picked my mother violets.
They arrived from France the very day
of her birthday, still smelling
of the earth from which they grew.
Roberta Feins received her MFA in poetry from New England College, where she studied with Judith Hall, DA Powell, Carol Frost and Alicia Ostriker. Her poems have been published in Five AM, Antioch Review, The Cortland Review and The Gettysburg Review, among others. Roberta has published two chapbooks: Something Like a River (Moon Path Press), and HeraldA Morsel of Bread, A Knife, was published in 2018 by the Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle.