Home is pictures of

Grandma, slicing shortcake and living the image we show our

dates and say the old woman was better than

anyone, (undone she died, we were—)

best woman we knew, slicing shortcake with a

bread knife, life never slipped between her fingers like

lingering doubts glide through mine.

Oh the strife she endured with her

penny-wise father!– but she was the saint who taught us:

let men treat us nice.


She called my mom “bitch”

but it was decided that we would love her,

feel the fervor of familial


Clemency for the dead.




Sarah Valeika is a poet whose works have been featured in Red Fez, Navigating the Maze, Breadcrumbs and Leaves of Ink. When not writing, Sarah pursues drama and music, both of which inspire her written work.