August 2002

Cynthia Yoder


Cynthia Yoder's memoir, Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite Life is forthcoming in 2003 from Pandora Press U.S. and can be previewed on her website, She holds an M.F.A. in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College, and her work has appeared in numerous periodicals, including Parabola, Sarah Lawrence Review, and the children's magazine Ladybug.
Songs on a Visit to Your Homeland 

Sand bending, noon sun heavy,
the market sleeps;
in shade of a thorn tree,
your breath, my Ramadan feast.

From the mist, Kilimanjaro announces,
like the bull elephant's ears' warning,
how silence walks, an Msee.

More than feasts of fresh-slain goat,
more than rainy-season hibiscus,
more than night creatures' listlessness:
how you lean against the Baobab tree.

I will not sleep tonight.
Pearls of sweat roll across my temples;
the air is pungent as camel's milk.
This heat, and you
coming to stand in my doorway.

Note: Msee is Swahili for wise elder



Cynthia Yoder: Poetry
Copyright 2002 The Cortland Review Issue 21The Cortland Review