the flaking paint
the silvered wood
the empty chair memorial
in the silent square
the milling group
– hardly a crowd – silenced
the ghost memories, phantom scars
pressing, beseeching, begging, needing
I remember the darkness beyond those doors –
those doors that had witnessed
tragedies a thousand-fold
the cold-sweat terrors
the children torn from their parents’ grasp
in hindsight –
I thought I would try to write my entry today for both dVerse Poetics – where the theme is ‘doors’, thank you Lillian for hosting – and the WordPress Daily Prompt – where the theme is ‘Generation’. I hope I succeeded!
Both of the images are from the Krakow Ghetto, where I was fortunate to visit (if that’s the right word) a few years ago. The empty chair memorial is incredibly moving, for me in the lump in the throat kind of a way. The homes, the remnants, which are still inhabited, are dilapidated, and I can hardly imagine what the conditions must have been like during the ghetto’s existence. The picture at the top is of one of the houses, behind one of the few remaing parts of the ghetto wall. (I didn’t take these particular photos).
Anyway, if you want to read other writer’s offerings, or take part yourself in either or both of these writing prompts, please click the links above.
The automatic doors slid apart, as if drawn by ghostly fingers. She paused, heart thumping, sniffing the air. Scents assaulted her nostrils – the sweet, heavy, unctiousness of lands far from here. A distant memory trickled into her mind, of laughter, warmth, worn-smooth chairs, a battered dining table, dented pots and pans with bases scorched black by blue gas flames. A home, not just a house. A safe haven.
Here, the scents were clean, new, knife-sharp. There, they had been soft and mellow and lazy. Here, the floor shone with the brilliance of constant attention and bleach. There, carefree foot-fall had worn the flagstones smooth and crumbs had nestled in the cracks in-between.
“Hey! Get out of here! Go on!”
She froze, stared at the man wielding a broom like a weapon – then ran. Ran as if the wind had caught her in its icy grip, ran as if she had somewhere else far better to turn to.
“That bloody old dog!” grumbled the man to himself. “Time somebody put it out of its misery.”
Once more, I have taken part in Picture It & Write this week. It’s strange how even the most seemingly mundane photo can inspire a story! Please take a look at Ermilia’s blog and why not take part in Picture It & Write yourself? She posts a new image for inspiration every Sunday, and this week, I am posting my entry on the very first day!