A full schedule, impatient with patients,
committing the mistake
of heading straight to
matters of fact
But they must tell their stories first
Facts only matter
in the setting of the heart.
An incendiary March night,
standing in a meadow,
looking up in little girl wonder
In the distance
into hot white ash, carried by a vortex
of burning wind, transformed into
a snowfall from Hell
that calmly floated down, and covered the grass
as far as her eyes could see.
August, family and neighbors
crowding the barn
surrounding the only radio in the village
a silent circle of heads
weighted with shame and shock
listening to the Great Emperor
surrender their country to strangers
But she was secretly relieved
Never again would her asthmatic airway
be inflamed by sirens and the musty air
of a stifling underground shelter
her mother pulling her by a stiffened arm,
protesting, in the purple dark of night
as the world exploded around her.
Across the Axis, a tiny girl
cried in a Dresden bunker,
unaware that her desperate mother
had raced back
to coax a stubborn father to join them
in the safety of the depths
Her family history erased forever
by a carpet of bombs
that rolled down the street
to arrive at the door of her house
precisely as her mother opened it
to plead with him to run for his life.
3 responses to ““Family History In Times of Siege (1945)” by Robert Resta”
Wow…this is the part of GC that I loved…if that is the right word for hearing the stories of others’ woes. This is the human connection; and you took it to a beautiful place as you often seem to do. Thank you.
Thank you for sharing. The poem is beautiful. I too am guilty of rushing and directing patients to just answer my questions without commentary. Thanks for the reminder of what is being missed.
It moved me to tears. Thank you for sharing.