Village Women

By on Sep 16, 2012 in Poetry

Collage of photos from Serbian farms

they carry water in pails on their heads
dirty laundry in baskets to the spring

sacks of corn and potatoes under arms
they give birth after working all day in fields

they paint their doors and windows a sea blue
they sit at the loom at night so that they

may have something to pass on to their children
they wake before their husbands

and they go to bed after their husbands
they knead bread in the early morning

they feed the chickens, pigs, goats
they water the vegetable gardens

they cook large meals on open flames
they carry these large feasts to the fields

they pick up, put down, wash up, iron
fold, sew, mend, embroider, cut up, dice

and then they steal moments for their tears
when alone in the house in Sokolovo 


Slobodanka Strauss was born in Novi Sad, Serbia, and immigrated with her family to Chicago at the age of 10. After college, she took a creative writing course at the University of Chicago that has made all the difference. She has been published in the Atlanta Review, Southern Humanities Review, Chicago Reader, and many others. For now, she's vwashed ashore on Cape Cod and can be found walking on Lighthouse Beach, Chatham.