The Parting
By Phaedrus
Published: February 22, 2013
Updated: March 4, 2013

The Parting

I dream of fearfulness
and separation …
so long ago,
so renascent
in sadness,
in regret …

and now, faint music
from a distant room …
no symphony
nor madrigal
nor fugue
but sweet-remembered
fragments
of a peasant tune
from infants’ school …
and young frau Rosenbaum,
substantial in her girth
and in her kindnesses,
who stood her ground
protectively
when noisily they came
to clear the school
of vermin,
so they said,
and cursed her then
and when she would not yield
fat Jew they yelled
and roughed her
to the trucks
Treblinka-bound …
and I, dry-eyed and unaware
though yet in parting’s thrall,
waved mute goodbye
until she disappeared …

suspended now
in darkness and remorse,
I shed a latent tear
for the parting.