Black hole 2

a neighbourly gesture?
That summer Mama sent us to Anna’s house to scrub pots
did I help?
I couldn’t have
I would remember
And not rely upon the memory of my sister, Teresa.

I recall Mama cringe when hearing them say
“they must be Jews or communists to have gotten out of there.”
The new Polish school principal was labeled a communist
Anna and her family housed with elderly couple as assisted relatives.

they lived just up the street
the kids attended our school
what was Mama thinking?
we never washed posts and pans at home
that was her job.

decade later, eve of Teresa’s nuptials
pins in mouth, Mama adjusts hem of bridal gown
telephone call from Red Cross
relatives search for
Mama dismisses call
as an only child
with secreted past.

~ Barbara Janusz

A graduate from the University of Alberta with Bachelors of Arts and Laws degrees, Barbara Janusz resides in the Crowsnest Pass, where she is engaged as a contributing writer for EnviroLine, The Business Publication for the Environmental Industry. Runner up winner of the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize in 2001, she has published essays, short stories and poetry in various literary journals, anthologies and magazines.

One Response to “Black hole 2”

  1. Barb – Oh the stories…and I want to know so much more!
    Your lines/images evoked a lot of pain …and reflections…about how we forget things that are painful…how what is left out is often the most relevant…about the power of secrets and so on…I really like it!

Leave a Reply