The Departure

I awoke one morning to the shadows reflected on the wall from my curtains… and then I remembered Ukraine. 

 

They had curtains in their home…

 

Might have been a gingham check of red and white hung on a window looking out at toys in the yard. Satiny curtains in the living room kept it shady for the tomes on the bookshelves. A mahogany china closet held the glassware and china passed down from a grandmother. Adorning the mantel were the photos, so many photos, of all those they love and revere.

 

They had curtains in their home…

 

A cool breeze made the curtains blow in while they were eating breakfast, making sandwiches for the children’s lunchboxes, and peeling the carrots for the evening stew.

 

They had curtains in their home…

 

There were dresses hanging in the closet waiting to be passed on to the younger children—some handmade—others bought from the catalog.

 

They had curtains in their home…

 

Those red and white gingham check curtains are torn and charred now and frame a window with shattered glass. The toys in the yard are under the stones that fell from the roof when the bombs came. There are no dinners now—grandma’s china is broken in a million pieces that were once the thread that held their family together. The photos, although blackened by fire still remain to document those who had to leave without looking back.

 

They have no curtains… they have no home.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Elena Arena

I am a human, daughter, sister, wife, and mother. I am named after two grandmothers with a queen in the middle: Elena Regina Maria, and married 52 years to a man named Arena, giving me three vowels in each name with no O or U. Now retired, I volunteer for Resistbot to promote participatory democracy.

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