Spring 2012

Table of Contents - Vol. VIII, No. 1


Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Essays    Reviews   

Marilyn J. Baszczynski


deleted scenes

you are translucent and luminous in my childhood
as if cast in an old black and white movie
faded bright in some spots like grainy moments caught on film
you test the pond ice thickness before we go skating
you hum and dance a polka with me in the living room
we slurp Oma’s chicken noodle soup at the kitchen table
friends stomp snow from their boots at the back door and join us for dinner
you are always laughing drinking talking smoking
pan to our house a sunshiny early spring day
dog barks somewhere out back as cat chases chicken across yard
fade to our family room where you snore on the couch rumpled
I walk in with my school bag but can’t stand the smell in the room
Mom comes home from work I hear her yelling and I’m crying
with Carol King as I try to sing along they’ll hurt you and desert you

when it’s dark you sway and stagger to the barn
you finish evening chores and disappear into shadows
spotlight opens on you alone in gray tones of a rented room
hunched in your favorite chair   your smile erased
ashtray overflowing on the floor at your feet
bridge shot of a hospital bed then close up of you dying in white light
I tell you I love you but you can’t speak anymore
you squeeze my hand for me to delete some scenes


A House in Hungary

We find the village in a field spattered
silent with vermillion poppies:
no echo of gunfire
across vineyards.
The house in a photo
circa 1938: father leans against the post,
hat rakishly over one eye, shadows
in the windows behind.
Today I lean on freshly painted wood,
look for initials carved,
traces of heirlooms left after
a forced exodus.
The house scrubbed clean,
renovated, including whirlpool tub,
all new except the windows.
Wavy and uneven glass distorts
courtyard, rotting root cellar,
blurs stinging nettle choking the cemetery
grounds where no one comes to tend
the gravesites.
Beyond the fences, poppies
contort into crimson
ghosts waiting.
The poppies in my garden are the same
shade of red.


© Marilyn J. Baszczynski


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Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Essays    Reviews   

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