Azrael's Wings by Karol A. Neufeld
Main Street Rag
Available from the publisher
"In Azrael’s Wings, Karol Neufeld confronts death and grief head-on, suggesting these inevitable journeys of the human condition can be considered a gift: 'We collect our dead/in memory, preserving what we need to live.' But the reality is that no one is fully prepared for that knock on the door from the Angel of Death. Thanks to Neufeld’s keen eye for imagery, the details of navigating her family’s multiple deaths from the Holocaust to old age honor what we do our best to ignore as 'we keep in our hearts what death tries to take.' Through her often painful reverential tones and brave language ('Fight back and be broken;/beauty lies in giving way'), Neufeld recognizes what scares all of us while giving comfort to survivors who wish to remember their dead 'as they were before, before we knew about the wind/and water that engulfed them.'"
—Alice Osborn, author of When the Steaming Stops and Unfinished Projects
What She Doesn’t Know
She’s only nineteen, newly wed,
bridal bouquet brought all the way
from Louisville: three-foot waterfall
of fragrance almost as dazzling
as her smile. How could he not
have wanted to coax her away
from the others? What a handsome
couple they make. They’ll honeymoon,
come back home, start a family.
He’ll go to work, she’ll love him,
birth two sons. Youthful, shining,
how can she know, in seven years
she’ll sit beside his July bed
hour after antiseptic hour
and watch him, car-crushed, die?
Her roses will turn funereal,
she will always shrink from the smell.
After teaching elementary school for twenty-six years, Karol Neufeld left the field of education to pursue other creative interests. She has recently completed a history/memoir about her Polish-Jewish father-in-law’s family. Her poetry has been published in International Poetry Review, Bay Leaves, Pinesong, Seven Hills Review, and two anthologies of Greensboro writers. She is a member of the North Carolina Poetry Society and North Carolina Writers’ Network and has participated in many of its workshops, as well as Miami Dade College Writer’s Institute, Anjail Rashida Ahmad’s year-long The Fractured Writer course, and Colrain Manuscript Conference. A dedicated traveler, reader, and collage artist, Karol lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with her husband John and dog Roxie.