Tara Skurtu

June 24, 2022 Skurtu Tara



The old woman next door would appear in
our courtyard with a hand broom of sticks,


dashing up and down the walkway
sweeping the rain each time it poured.


Sometimes I’d look up from the kitchen table
and there she was, waving at me as she ran


up the stairs to our bedroom. She took
everything she wanted. Even a scraggly


bush in our yard—one morning I found it
in her yard. Unbelievable, how magical


thinking kept me thinking I could garden
the marriage, until the man I’d married said


that woman had her eye on the unknown fruit
sapling I watered each week, and with shears


I snapped the thorny trunk in half.


Tara Skurtu is the author of the chapbook Skurtu, Romania, the full poetry collection The Amoeba Game, and the upcoming collection Faith Farm. A two-time Fulbright grantee and recipient of a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, the Marcia Keach Poetry Prize, and two Academy of American Poets prizes, she is the founder of International Poetry Circle and a former steering committee member of Writers for Democratic Action. Tara is based in Brooklyn, where she is a writing coach for clients worldwide.



photo credit: Spencer Ostrander