Flash Fiction: I Miss You

There is a click, click, click coming down the hall. The eaves that echo with every footfall, the ladder creaks as she begins to climb. Hands parting the cobwebs of this old attic. She hasn’t been up here in years.

The picture fills her hands and she cries. “I miss you, Mom. I love you so much. I miss the way you used to sing. I miss you making me soup when I was sick. I miss you just sitting there, watching me sleep. I miss you. I miss you.”

But she can’t hear me when I whisper, “I still do.”

***

First published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal.

The Berlin I Remember

berlin

 

This is the Berlin I remember
A glowing winter flame
Where open hands and steaming wine
Lay stones upon old pain.

 

berlin-2

 

When I think of Berlin,
There’s only one that I recall
Not the one of sorrow and blood
But the light that’s growing tall.

 

unnamed

 

Don’t send them empty platitudes
Or Facebook prayers or snark;
Instead become that winter flame
That banishes the dark.

Auschwitz

I visited Auschwitz today
Under a coal sky
And myriad
Autumn leaves.

 

I visited Auschwitz today
Under a coal sky
And myriad
Autumn leaves.

I lived in Krakow for two years
Before getting up the nerve.

The concrete rooms
Stank of evil
Watchtowers stood
In defiance of time.

Each barbed wire fence
A shadow of our worst selves.

Nationalism and racism
Are powerful drugs,
Destroying compassion,
Changing our compasses.

But I saw no well-intentioned roads there,
Only sorrow and a multitude of names.

I wondered what it felt like
Being forced to march
Towards a wall
Or into a concrete room.

But what I should fear instead,
Is not that I will be marched somewhere,

But that someday,
Somehow,
I could be the one
Forcing others to march.

Mieczyslaw Koscielniak, “Roll Call at Auschwitz,” 1944