Chivaree | Ilona Martonfi

Back when we married pregnant,
a chivaree for us that night

effigy draped with a white shirt
a carnivalesque mob

young people of the village
here they blackened faces with soot
waited quiet on the road

Lady of Hungary Parish elopement

we didn’t give a wedding dance
didn’t invite family and friends

in our nuptial clothes
their jokes, jeers:

“Puttana ungherese!”
sister-in-law says

Hungarian whore!

Braying of horns

rattles, knockers, clappers,
whooping and drumming

biscotti and cider
set out in old copper washtub

money for the tavern.

Ilona Martonfi lives in Montreal, Canada. Author of two poetry books, Blue Poppy, (Coracle 2009.) Black Grass, (Broken Rules 2012). Forthcoming, The Snow Kimono (Inanna, 2015).


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