Across Generations (for Yom Hasho’ah)

a painting of green plants against a blue sky
So much my Nana left: her home, her river.
Young mother saving rations in a safer land,
where shadows of the killing camps never
crossed the faces of her boys. Understand,
her cousins, aunts, uncles died in the fires.
Survivor guilt can haunt the open heart
and even taint a marriage. Quench desires.
Send passions into hiding—break apart
that which once was whole, and true, and bright.
After the war, the marriage could be swept
but not repaired. From pain and woe, she leapt
to teaching damaged children how to write.
Later, alone, she taught herself the art
of painting flower portraits. I learned that part.


The art accompanying above was painted by the poet’s Nana

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