This is the kitchen sink the grinding-stone
There are no untrite words
December seventh, and it has not snowed
much. I never knew Copernicus was Polish until
I came to Poland; I think I thought him Italian.
His name might mean copper maker
or dill grower—mine means
Central European Jewish, unpronounceable.
Great-great-grandfather went to Ellis Island
from Siedlce, northeastern Poland, 1909.
Copernicus went to Bologna, Curie to Paris,
where she named polonium for her motherland.
Born Maria Salomea Skłodowska, she starred
on 1989 Polish banknotes, withdrawn
from circulation after redenomination
in 1995, taught her French daughters the language.
Curie entombed in Paris, Copernicus in Frombork,
northern Poland, near the Baltic.
Baltic amber called the gold of the north—an ancient
trade route, the Amber Road, connected Baltic coasts
to Mediterranean for millennia. I get a ring,
a small dark Baltic amber oval set in silver,
almost black until it catches light.
Annie Diamond is a Connecticut native living presently in Chicago. She earned her BA in English and creative writing from Barnard College. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Laurel Review, Free State Review, Rabid Oak, Misadventures, and elsewhere. She has been awarded fellowships by The MacDowell Colony, The Lighthouse Works, and Boston University, where she completed her MFA in 2017.