The Poetry of Joan Seliger Sidney« Return to Seliger Family Home

Joan Seliger Sidney PhD is Writer-in-Residence and Special Research Associate and University of Connecticut's Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life


Why do you say you escaped,
Mother, when you are still
Trapped among their bones?
How many have you dragged
into your Holocaust past?
Every day you are back in Poland
Every day the Ukrainian peasants
Shoot your parents and push them into the ground
You never found. Every day
Someone scratches the earth for treasures
They buried behind the outhouse
Babi Yar you say over and over
Though you mean Zurawno, your world
so small, every town becomes Zurawno

"Leaving" taken from BODY OF DIMINISHING MOTION: Poems and a Memoir by Joan Seliger Sidney

"Leaving" was also published in The Fields of Ukraine: A 17-Year-Old's Survival of Nazi Occupation; The Story of Yosef Laufer by Haim Tal (Dallci Press 2009), with permission granted by Dallci Press on March 28, 2010.