Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Switzerland, 1945*

One velvet star struck night
in May, near the tiny town
of Trogan, Switzerland, not so very long
before World War II

was finally really over,
and everyone in refugee camp
was just about worn out
with celebration

my father took my mother’s
work-worn still young hand
and led her purposefully
into their cabin

tiptoeing past the shabby canvas cot
where my pretty blond sister, Elfie,
lay sleeping, past the only slightly
larger shabby cot

where my pretty dark cousin, Blanca,
lay dreaming, past
the nearly threadbare tweed couch
on which my gentle, already

broken, Uncle Herman
tossed in nightmare, past the old
black wood-burning stove
that took up nearly half

of their tiny kitchen, under
the thick gray mass of
knotty cobweb that hung
like drapery between stovepipe

and ceiling, where my
father’s dark and huge pet
spider, Albert, crouched,
into their own small, but

private bedroom
onto his own barely
large enough to hold them
shabby cot. Shyly, I believe

he touched her breast. She
smiled, and despite
her missing tooth, he found
her beautiful.

Joan Dobbie

*This Poem appeared in Donas Nobis Pacem
published by the Lane Literary Guild 2006.
I retain all rights.