Towards the end
of blueberry season, I stroll
to a place guarded by bemused
policemen. Inside, I look
at words set down by my forebears,
bearded men whose wives ran
grocery stores and stare at symbols
strange to me. We’re so few,
ephemeral as fleeing clouds on blue.
I do not know these people, nor they me.
Yet in the minor keys
we hear one thing: the rustle
of a book hidden by a child,
in a shtetl, or perhaps Ravensbruck.
by Elizabeth J. Coleman
© 2005-2009 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas
Spring 2009 Poetry