The Manhattan Project

On Thanksgiving, Grandma told us about her life, about our Polish heritage. For the first time she delved into the pain of moving nineteen homes in nineteen years. She talked about her father working on the A-Bomb during WWII.  She talked about how her mother fed everybody that came to their ever-changing houses.  She talked about love and acceptance and isolation. We ate cheesecake. We laughed. My heart is full. And if you ever feel lonesome or want to hang out, I can make you the best pierogies.


oak ridge blues

i missed the lilies of the valley
outside my city window
where my snow-white spitz died.
always kept in the dark, always moving.
picking tulips where graves were dug.

daddy was only home on weekends.
silent soldiers followed him to the farm.
mama’s beer and chicken dinners
deferred the weight of their atomic secrets:
they did what had to be done.

i was disowned, once,
for marrying a methodist.
whispered in radioactive horror,
throttled like cancer in pink lace gloves.
they did what had to be done.

i know they were right and wrong.
the greatest flaw in humanity
is pretending to know christian love.
but mama always fed the drifters
oh, mama really fed the strays.IMG_1442