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My Mother Reminds Me of Anne Frank

Feb 18, 2021 | Uncategorized



My mother reminds me of Anne Frank.

Two girls of similar age.


Optimism that chills

colder than the draft


whistles through

the tube of an MRI


whistles though lice-infested barracks

behind barbed wire.


Anne clutching Kitty.

My mother clutching her notebook, thirty years later–her afghan.

Anne with nothing to keep her warm except Margo

and the blood in her heart.


Anne in Bergen-Belsen.

My mother in Hempstead General Hospital.


Anne’s cold soup and stale bread.

My mother’s weak tea and Escort crackers.


Indelible images of the one I love

and the one everyone loves.


Two skeletal females

consumed by cold

withering disappointment.

How many years of my mother’s life would

I have traded for Anne’s optimism?


A diary ends abruptly.

How long is too short?

How short isn’t long enough?


Anne wrapped in a towel,

my mother in a cotton robe.


Lice breeds disease

and cancer breeds metastases.


Pick your poison

typhus or paclitaxel


“One day they simply weren’t there anymore.”




1 Comment

  1. MaSue

    Very sad, Rich!


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© Richie Smith 

© Richie Smith