• Jo Page


--for Tadeusz Borowski (1922-51), author of Ladies and Gentlemen, This Way for the Gas

Such innocence in apples, peeled—

pale, pock-marked, but ominous.

Pale, peeled apples not the orange excess of autumn;

Instead--shorn heads, bald and pocked,

the shorn heads of those in camps--

shorn of breath, later. (I am

remembering the Polish writer

and camp survivor, the suicide author.)

All I am doing is making pies,

pies with apples I have picked.

I am not remembering history.

Or I am trying not to.

But those bald-headed apples

bring home the pie-bald lie we try to swallow

each time we try to forget:

that apple skins are not as red as blood;

more blood's been shed

than apples peeled.

So I turn, numbed, from truth and sorrow

Toward the banal, lustrous folly--pie.



© 2018 Jo Page

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