Legacy by Marton Kalasz I don’t see my mother dancing— in my thoughts she still trims vines sprayed blue with copper sulfate for her two bags of wheat, eight bushels rye. I don’t know if her young face was lovely, if the other tenants admired her dragonfly form, or if my blonde father tethered his horse only at our cabin on the wild Whitsun ride. I just see her in the wintry dawn chopping cornstalks at the stove or patching sacks in the stilled yard; I see her at evening in the vineyard secretly taking flowers for my dead father. Such memories pour over me, and whirl me round fiercely now— my mother, whom none could help, in the darkness of whose fiesh the cancer spread its deadly arms, who left her son this legacy. This is not to blame her; not one curse ever left her lips, I know. . . . Only, poverty took it all from her vein-roped hands. Half a day she walked to find me, a hand at some far-off farm, bringing me her spared potatoes, spending her scant savings on my studies; and when I scanned my first lines at the window something silvery glowed in her eyes—joy. And then she was gone, never to see the first book. I could thrust no money secretly beneath her bolster, for a dress, for salt— her bones in the graveyard moldered to fat silent clay; no flowers force their roots in summer where her forehead used to be. And I carry her legacy for good: on my face the mark of sorrow, in myself humility’s soundless load; until I die I shall not forget that world of grinding poverty— in the field we are walking like yoked horses together forever.