The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Judith Terzi’s “Ghazal for a Chambermaid”

Judith Terzi

Two Women on a Porch at Raya’s Paradise

Yetta’s wrapped for a cruise, quiet as a cocoon.
She’s as still as the eclipse of her business mind.
Yet high school Spanish clings, holds on.
Mysteriously, the words unbind somehow.
She frowns when I ask her, “What’s this, Yetta?”
A silla. “And this and that?” A mesa. A casa.
And “Who is she over there?” A mujer.
She’s a woman. She’s still my mother
though now my rapt child, wrapped in yellow
on the wraparound porch of a board and care.
She doesn’t remember who I am this time.
A slight breeze lifts wisps of her hair
higher, higher toward that different calm.
She’s not quite ready for surrender’s balm.


This selection comes from Judith Terzi’s chapbook Ghazal for a Chambermaid, available from Finishing Line Press. Purchase your copy here!

If You Spot Your Brother Floating By is Judith Terzi‘s latest chapbook (Kattywompus). Recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Atlanta Review(International Publication Award, 2015), Caesura, The Centrifugal EyeThe Found Poetry Review, Trivia: Voices of FeminismUnsplendid, and Wide Awake: The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Poetry Series). She holds an M.A. in French Literature and taught high school French for many years as well as English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria. Her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and Web.

Noh Anothai was a researcher with the Thailand-United States Education Foundation (Fulbright Thailand) from 2011-12. In that time he translated programs and hosted cultural events for Thailand’s College of Dramatic Arts under the Ministry of Culture. Winner of Lunch Ticket’s inaugural Gabo Prize for Translation and Multilingual Texts in 2014, Anothai’s original poems and translations of Thai poetry have appeared in Ecotone, The Berkeley Poetry Review, and others.  He has contributed to Words Without Borders and Tin House, and serves as a reader for the  international River Styx poetry contest. He teaches for the online MFA program in Creative Writing at Lindenwood University.

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