Prose fails me today, the 4th anniversary of 9/11. So here's something to commemorate that and also a relevant 60th anniversary.
The war’s over!
August 9, 1945.
My mom’s got the worst
birthday present: her first miscarriage.
If I existed I’d see a faraway look and hear
a dish drop from her soapy hand.
Dad’s begun a childless law practice
in two mother tongues. Some clients
call him Janek, some mister.
There are too many calls.
Past the kitchen door, his office ticks
with deeds and wills rolling
off the typewriter, sings
with Polish over the phone.
My parents, so, so young in wartime,
of the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works
and Bell Aircraft, are in no mood
Let the nation declare Japan is dead,
long live the rest of us.
Let glasses clink elsewhere,
let others cheer the dancing
downtown, let a hundred million
clean up the last pins.
But today in this house,
Mom is getting
that faraway look
down to a science.
Hiroshima is smoke,
Nagasaki a new sister cloud.