Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Erika Wilk


I hardly knew – just as well
from what I’ve been told
he didn’t portray a good paternal image
his influence could have poisoned my life
made me a different person

mother once said he was egotistical
didn’t nurture his children
expected to be catered to
lamented who would fix his breakfast
when mom decided to leave him

in a letter to his oldest son
he expressed his anti-Semitism
an easy transition into the Nazi Party
I never knew, until recently
he hated Jews with such passion

I visited him in Germany in 1956
the grandeur had left him by then
he was in his 60’s
not nearly as tall as I remembered
but then- I had grown taller

we never corresponded
I left for the United States 50 years ago
what would my father think, say, do
learning that I married a Jew

I can hear those bones tremble

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