LiturgicalCredo.com LiturgicalCredo.com                  Poetry              
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Six Poems by Gail Peck
Gail Peck writes, All of these six poems will be included in the new
manuscript I am currently working on.  It is tentatively titled “Counting
the Lost Children.”  After my last book of poetry, I challenged myself to
write poems based on works of art, and not be solely dependent upon
autobiography.  However, since I know the power of memory and
personal experience, I wanted to include poems that are
autobiographical, in part or in whole.  My stepfather was in the Army,
and stationed in Berlin during 1957-1960.  While I was too young to
absorb all the history of Berlin at that time, it later became an abiding
interest for me, and seems now to have found its natural place in my
work.   
   
Woman Reflecting
She is asking herself,
Where are my children now,
my right son and my left son
as they called themselves.
One killed in the war,
the other still fighting
while snow falls in Berlin.
The church bells have been melted down
for ammunition, and the New Year, 1916,
will steal quietly in.
Smell of the Christmas fir in the corner,  
each sad ornament reclaiming its shape
when hung from the boughs,
and the cake she made with rations of flour,
the last of the cinnamon, ginger.
When they were small they stood by her side
while she creamed butter and eggs.
Don’t run or the cake will fall, she’d tell them.
She’d pluck a straw from the top of the broom
for testing.  Tomorrow she’ll return to sketching—
the face, the hands, they are what speak to her—
a woman sitting, one large hand
covering half her face,
and the eye you can see, closed.
Six Poems by Gail Peck

Table of Contents

I.   Lullaby

II.  One, For Praise

III.  Prams at Auschwitz

IV. Rest

V.  The Goblets

VI. Woman Reflecting

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After Käthe Kollwitz, drawing
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