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Of August 20-21, 1968. Memories come

At the sea
Vacation at the sea
To the sea we go wrapped up with love and family and splashy, splashy fun.
Warm August happiness in the German sea.

Next morning…panic.
We children were protected.
Things are fine, they said.
A Czech convoy out of Germany under armed guard.
Panicked, sleepy drivers, up all night. Mom at the wheel overtook. Honked.
Detained by the guards. Warned to cooperate. Put at the front of the line.
Czech border at night. Russian soldiers. Machine guns. Soldiers standing in a row.
Green soldiers with guns. Machine guns pointing.

Guns.

In the back seat babi put my head in her lap and covered me with her coat.
If they start shooting, will the coat protect me?
Warm hands. Wrinkles in the shape of stars.
Terror. Apprehension. Questions. Fears.

Home.

Huge hole in the wall of the Great Museum.
Tanks. Shouting. So much shouting.

So much silence.

Rosy cheeks turned ash. All the colour drained.


Written for Jane Ann’s memoir challenge

Comments: 13

  • October 10, 2012
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    Wow, this is some memory, putting it into this form popped all these images in my mind. Now, I want to know more. Well done.

  • October 10, 2012
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    This causes me to stay quiet and read it again and again. Nothing to say…just feeling…like not clapping after a play or concert because you are too moved to clap.

  • October 10, 2012
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    Very powerful. The contrast between the first image and the later ones is so profound. Such an effective piece.

  • October 10, 2012
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    Amazing, Veronica, and horrifying. How awful that must have been for you as a child. Love the contrast between a happy holiday in the sun and sudden danger and menace. Understated but tight with power.
    As for your comment on my post, hey, girl, there are no rules – just guidelines. Your participation in this challenge is wonderful. We’re all richer for it.
    Jane Ann
    http://www.janeannmclachlan.com

  • October 10, 2012
    reply

    Tentative steps are the best for me. As I gingerly step forward toward a memory that is too emotional, its power seems to dissipate a bit. Then I can become its master and create art. And that to my mind, is exactly what you did here.
    No feeling in the world like automatic weapons pointed at you, is there? Ufda!

  • October 11, 2012
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    That is an incredible story. So much in just a few stanzas. Very strong writing!

  • October 13, 2012
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    I can imagine how hard this was to write… TY for your courage to share.

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