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My Mother's Key
by Maja Trochimczyk
~ for Jan Jakub Kolski and his Mother, deported in 1945
by Soviets from her farm in what used to be Poland but is not.
This is a key.
This is an iron key.
This is a large, iron key.
This is an old, large, iron key.
A key my Mother carried in her purse.
This is an old, large, wrought-iron key my Mother
carried in her purse every single day.
This is a field.
This is a flat field.
This is a flat, empty field.
This is a flat, empty field in the Ukraine
that used to be Poland. A flat, empty field where
my Mother's house once stood, surrounded by a tall wooden
fence, with a tall wooden gate, with a solid, large, wrought-iron lock.
They told her: PACK!
They told her: GO!
They told her: OUT!
You do NOT belong!
This is OUR land!
There is no house.
There is no fence.
There is no gate.
This is the key.