Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Reading at the Holocaust Educators Conference at Lynchburg College

Holocaust Educators Conference at Lynchburg College

I'll be reading poems and some prose pieces from my new book Echoes of Tattered Tongues about my family's experiences as Displaced Persons in Germany and refugees in America.

I love talking to students and teachers about my parents.  If you ever want me to visit a class just drop me a line.  (The Georgia Holocaust Commission gave me an award for talking to high school students in Georgia.)

The first poem I'll read is Refugees.


We came with heavy suitcases
made from wooden boards by brothers
we left behind, came from Buchenwald
and Katowice and before that
Lvov, our mother's true home,

came with our tongues
in tatters, our teeth in our pockets,
hugging only ourselves, our bodies
stiff like frightened ostriches.

We were the children in ragged wool
who shuffled in line to eat or pray
or beg anyone for charity.

Remembering the air and the trees,
the sky above the Polish fields,
we dreamt only of the lives waiting
for us in Chicago and  St. Louis
and Superior, Wisconsin

like  pennies
in our mouths.

(The conference is being conducted by the Holocaust Educators Foundation of Central Virginia.)

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