Farewell, My Homeland

After the war, Poland’s borders shifted west.
Russia gained, and Germany lost.
The few Jews who returned
weren’t sent to their homes in the east
but resettled in Silesia, in the west.
The Germans were kicked out,
and the Jews came in.

We were a hodge-podge community
with no 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 so 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 so we did.
Still, my father was bitter about it.
I never knew why my parents stayed,
only why we left.


Poet, fiction writer, journalist, and critic Anne Whitehouse’s books include poetry collections The Surveyor’s Hand (Compton Press), Blessings and Curses (Poetic Matrix Press), One Sunday Morning (Finishing Line Press), The Refrain (Dos Madres Press), Bear in Mind (Finishing Line Press), Meteor Shower (Dos Madres Press) and Fall Love (novel). Recent poetry and fiction publications include The Write Place at the Write Time, Works & Days, Oddball Magazine, Art from Art (anthology), Istanbul Poetry Review, Pain and Memory and Being Human: Call of the Wild (anthologies), riverbabble, Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, and others. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University. She lives in New York City.

Luis Lázaro Tijerina was born in Salina, Kansas. Mr. Tijerina has a Master of Art degree in history, concentration being military history and diplomacy. He is a published author of military theory, short stories, essays and poetry. Mr. Tijerina resides in Vermont.