Monday, March 26, 2007

Switzerland, circa 1947*


My First Memory, circa 1947

I think I was not yet two
at home
In the tiny (neutral) country called
Switzerland
To which my parents escaped
& where I was born
& from which we later
Were forced to leave.
But then it was spring
& me so tiny,dark & so naked
Sitting bare bottom in a washtub
Of thin blue water
Under the impossibly high
Unreachable sky
Where my mother had left me
For just one minute alone
When the huge brindled cow
With her great
arched nostrils came by
Snorting hugely
& drank up all my water

*This poem appeared in "Without Halos, 1985, in Poetic Space, 1986 & in my graduate thesis, 1988