My Mother's Blouse
"When I was a little girl and still lived in Lancut
I had white blouses with lots of white lace
which my father bought me at the fair…"
From the ghetto she was rescued with only a thin shirt on her skin.
For years she wandered with her mother and with Yankele and Bronia.
They hid in the woods and in barns.
Wandering from place to place, they reached the outskirts of Siberia.
When Yankele and Bronia disappeared—her memories disappeared with them.
Her voice fell silent. Her gaze darkened and froze.
Only her sinewy fingers continued to stroke on and on
a white lace blouse she had bought for pennies at the flea market,
after listening on the radio to the "Department for the Detection of Lost Relatives."