A Christmas Visitation
Anny stands by the door. Anny
Watches as your grandchildren
Open the seasonal gifts. Her blue
Eyes follow as toys are investigated
One after another. You see her there,
Her ghostly hand brushing back her
Curly blonde hair. She smiles at you
As she lifts her eyes from toys to you.
None of the others see her as she walks
About the room, her hands wanting to
Touch the toys, to finger the doll, to hold
Against her chest as once she may in
Better days before the Auschwitz death.
You sip your beer, your eyes watching
As she sits by your wife, taking in excitement
Of voices and grandchildren’s laughter,
Her bright eyes moving from you to laid
Down toys, maybe remembering her own
Childhood excitement of Jewish celebrations,
The candles, the singing, the feel of love,
The sense of awe. Speculation on your part,
You and your tender heart. Anny studies
Your wife as she talks of this and that to those
Around the room. Anny looks back at you,
Those blue eyes, that curly blonde hair, that
Ribbon tied in the hair, those 1940s clothes,
That sense of sorrow that follows her like
Perfume. You smile back and want to say
Other words you have said to her before,
But others might wonder why you speak to
One they cannot see, thinking maybe your
Dotage has taken a turn or that you’ve sipped
Too much beer in celebrational cheer. Anny
Understands these things and much beside
Since that Paris betrayal and train trip to
Icy Auschwitz where in 1942 she died.
Terry Collett's Other Poems
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