Springerle

by Sara Backer

During the war, my grandmother mailed springerle
to American soldiers in Germany. They could survive
the trip, their cookie lifespan equal to three hundred human years.
Two days to beat, to chill, to roll, to stamp, to bake their sugar,
flour, and eggs. She used a wooden mold of six pictures
carved by my great-grandfather in Dresden.

Fish
for faith
Deer for Christ
Cherries for love
Rose for the seal of Luther
Bell to announce His coming
Castle to enter the world beyond

I thought of them only as cookies we made in December.
Before they went into the oven, imprinted dough was left to dry
uncovered all night. Atop our piano, pale squares aligned in rows
like tombstones.

 

Sara Backer has an MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts, lives in New Hampshire, and teaches at UMass Lowell. She has two chapbooks: Scavenger Hunt (dancing girl press 2018) and Bicycle Lotus (Left Fork 2015), which won the Turtle Island Poetry Award. Her writing has been honored with residency fellowships from the Norton Island and Djerassi programs and with eight Pushcart prize nominations. Website: sarabacker.com.

2 Comments

Filed under Poetry

2 responses to “Springerle

  1. Helen Einstein

    Such talent!

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