Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Curling At the Edges

The Old Postcards

I have often thought

of justice, of setting

my own square inch in order

of sending them back, of finding

someone to send them to

or of some simple ritual

involving water

but the old postcards of Prague

are still there in my room.

My grandfather found them

in a London street during the war

and for no good reason

took them home.

They were in a handsome album

with family photographs and the next time

he came to see us he brought the album

as a present for his small grandson.

My parents first removed the snapshots

and threw them on the fire - I could see people

curling at the edges. Laying the postcards

out on the floor I used to wonder

at so many synagogues

at tangled cemeteries with headstones

curiously inscribed, and turning them over

at captions in several languages

with German always carefully struck out.

Having since grown

a language away from my family

I offer these words

to one who may have lost the need for them.

By Keith Bosley, from The Young British Poets, Edited by Jeremy Robson, St. Martin's Press, 1973

Offered as of 8-12-09 by Chewybooks:

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