Doctor, do you have a minute to spare?
The call was directed at my mother midway between the second and third floor in our apartment complex. Four of us stood on the freshly cleaned stairs. Mother, myself, the cleaning lady, and her little daughter.
Could you please spare some cooking oil?
It had to be one of the rare times I heard shame in someone's voice. The shame of having to ask burdened her immensely. She clasped her hands as she looked at us, and rushed to justify after a moment of silence.
I want to cook for the kids. It's been a week and I couldn't get paid to buy some.
I never knew words needed so much power to come out. She tr
It would be easy enough to flee. The only bond that ties Margarethe to the blind old woman is her love for her brother. But he is all she has left, now, and she will not leave him.
Johannes sits in a cage of bones, eating canned mandarins and jars of sour cherries, awaiting his death. Margarethe visits him there when the old woman is out. “I’ll save you,” she says. “I’ll find a way – somewhere we can flee to, somewhere she can’t follow. I’ll steal the key from her.” The cage is held together with steel cables and padlocks and barbed wire. There is no escaping from it.
“You know wha
Chapter 1 -
Allow a slip of the tongue now and then when nobody's looking,
snatch the truth back up and bury it in your pocket
to tumble crumpled into a collection of inky snowflakes in the wash.
Find them again and feel bitter that no one saw their truth.
Cut your heart into breadcrumbs,
spread out for wild animals and left-over the earth,
part of you hoping someone will follow.
Try not to care when they scatter it to the birds.
Hide behind braids of flowers in the garden back,
listen with breath baited for hurried footsteps and searching hands -
a solo game of Marco Polo.
Miss a beautiful afternoon
whispering "I'm here"
I never knew the numbers that consumed you. You calculated pounds and sizes and calories in the silence of your head, and by the time I realised what you were doing the habit was rooted as deeply as your bones.
I offered you silent support, because I had nothing more to give you, and because it was the best I’d ever had from you. It was far too late when I learned you needed more than silence. Far too often, I’d missed my chance to speak: because I was slow to see what was happening, slow to hear your cries for help; because I thought you must know best, as always; because I was afraid to misstep, to overstep, to risk your ire; a
Hush, hush, sweet child,
close your eyes, sleep time has arrived.
Don't you worry about
the sound of bullets tearing down the land,
nor the scent of blood that begins to rise
with every rose that blooms and
every man who dies.
Hush little one, let me sing,
an oath for a rebellion that worshiped a cause:
Justice and freedom for all.
But once the stakes soared high,
so did those who screamed to
wage war in the name of victory.
Only greed and hate remain and
we're never going back home.
Close your eyes dear son,
There's no point asking
when daddy is gonna be back.
He's somewhere beneath the rubble,
right next to the bread he was so proud