Wanderers by Rachel Unkefer | The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review
I sit on the back porch, picking them out with my fingernails. They've embedded themselves between the layer of mesh and the layer of smooth nylon surface on the tops of my running shoes. From a distance they look like mud spatters, but they're clusters of organic torpedoes, hundreds of them, each a centimeter long. These wild grass seeds, with their tiny grappling hooks, have hitched a ride to Virginia from a German cemetery. I picked up these wanderers in the small town of Grünstadt in the Rhineland-Palatinate, about an hour's drive southwest of Frankfurt. Grünstadt has a vibrant Jewish history that is documented back to the early seventeenth century. At its height, the Jewish community numbered some five hundred souls. What remains in 2012 is the neglected cemetery. Rachel Unkefer's work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, Citron Review, and elsewhere. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and Writers in the Heartland. She is one of the cofounders of WriterHouse, a non-profit writing community in Charlottesville, Virginia.