An Old Bogart Film

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

My parents protected me from the war.
They seemingly made a pact that
whatever happened in Europe, stayed in Europe.
They spent those years in Austria,
full of foggy intrigue, shadows and doorways,
like the ending of some old Bogart film.
Did they run, fight or hide?
Were there secret deals and flights into the night?
Exactly how many relatives died,
and what was the nature of the commodities
that secretly changed hands?
I know nothing of those days,
except what I’ve read in books.
I know nothing of the pain and the excitement
even as I grew up safely on American shores.
My parents protected me from the war.
I should be grateful to my parents, shouldn’t I?

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years.  Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in a new YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy,  edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

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Filed under American Jewry, Family history, Jewish identity

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