January 9, 2008
By Ellina Libman, Buffalo Grove, IL

She would sit
on the brown couch,
the cushions rubbed down to a sandy color,
in the living room of her apartment on the 17th floor,
the television blaring Russian into her ear.
A man in a cube fur hat shouts,
extending his arm toward a shivering
figure, sprinting away in the distance:
Ya tebya lyoblu!
Outside, cars speed
past the building as a mother walks her two children to the park,
their small hands gripped tightly in her larger one,
slightly wrinkled.

She remembers the outbreak of World War II,
her hands moist and heart pounding
a lost sandal
What was once a cattle car,
the musty smell of animal waste still lingering in the air
shifting her weight,
grazing her eyes over the chattering
figures on the screen once more,
now standing barely inches apart,
hands intertwining with greater density than the
branches of the oak tree draping overhead.

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