Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Childhood Visit

A Childhood Visit
 by Marilyn Zelke-Windau

The Scotty dog, our only toy,
knew how to behave.
He, who stood stiff-legged,
black, in the corner,
under the window seat,
with perked ears,
He knew.
He had a red plaid collar.
He was stuffed, not allowed at table.

We were,
but not to speak.
Great Aunt Anna, with tight, grey
braid-pinned, circle hair,
who Mom, through family rights,
called Annie,
served us ham, and dill pickles
from a barrel
in the back yard
in Milwaukee.
We saw it.
It was wooden and had scum
on the brine surface
where the pickles bobbed.

I didn’t say a word.
I just threw up.
German was spoken.
The bathroom was tiled in black
and white. The towel was stiff
on my lip.
Courteous apologies were offered.
Come agains were proffered.

Dad drove home—
Mom’s usual journey.
A White Sox game voiced
balls, not strikes.
I slept in the back window shelf
of the Studebaker,
all the way to Chicago,

~ first published at