Issue Thirty-One - Winter 2018

Farewell, My Homeland

By Anne Whitehouse

After the war, Poland’s borders shifted west.
Russia gained; the Germans were kicked out.
The few Jews who returned
were resettled in the west,
away from their homes in the east.

We were a hodge-podge community
with no shared history or connection.
When one of us met another,
the first question was,
How did you survive?
Everyone had a story,
and every story was a miracle.

Under the Communists,
it was hard to find a job,
pay was low, and there
was nothing to buy.
But my parents clung all the same,
and I was born in Poland in ’58.

In the sixties, the economy tanked.
As usual, Jews were blamed.
We were said to be a “fifth column,”
destroying society from within.
We were free to leave, and we did.
Still, my father was bitter about it.
I never knew why my parents stayed,
only why we left.

Copyright 2018 Whitehouse