Hronov Homecoming, 1994

by Tom Berman

It’s not really a homecoming

Sent to an unknown safety,
I have not lived in this house
for more than half a century

This should be a visit
of coming to terms
with a latent past

black and white photos
of my relatives
on the back verandah
in the summer sunshine

my mother seated in an armchair
looking out of the French windows
to an unimaginable future

But there is no coming to terms,
emotion runs below the surface,
black, deep, cold river
in a black, cold cave

moonlight in my parents room
waiting for ghosts to come
faint, fading images
on a traumatized memory
and the curling black and white snaps
of years ago

the river runs

Hronov is a small town in North Eastern Bohemia.