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No. 27, Strážnice

Blue and white fresco swirls above the door like strips of icing that would never melt

Published onJun 07, 2023
No. 27, Strážnice

Photo by Thierry Lemaitre:

                        after Danusha Lameris

There was that morning we drove past stone gates into Strážnice,
the green Skoda’s muffler ready to drop, 

me leaning out the window to take pictures, 
the Kodak hanging from my wrist on its strap.

We wound through narrow streets past patchy gardens, common-wall houses, doors, 
each its own color, lace curtains waving past sills nested with potted plants,

smiled at the old man on a bicycle wheeling beside us, his market bag stuffed with corn, 
asked him to point the way to No.27. Across an ocean 

friends fought with their parents about Vietnam,
Johnson was waging his own war.

Blue and white fresco swirls above the door like strips of icing that would never melt, 
Uncle scanned my face with a surgeon’s eye when he answered, squeezed me breathless, 

 pulled us past the rooms my father had left. I crossed to where she sat in a corner 
but couldn’t take the bony hand. Skin stretched over her skull like thin wrapping. 

I’d never seen anyone that old. Death was a woman in a worn sweater and long brown skirt.
And I was supposed to kiss her. 

 I studied the pink dahlia’s that grew in the yard when we left. 

 Turned to take one more picture.

Kathleen Goldblatt’s first chapbook, Our Ghosts Wait Patiently, has recently been released by Finishing Line Press.  Her work also appears in The Comstock Review, Amethyst, The Healing Muse, Psychological Perspectives, The Literary Nest and five editions of the Wickford Rhode Island Poetry and Art Book. Kathleen is a writer and a Jungian psychoanalyst. Inspired by the symbolic world, after a career in social work, she earned her Diplomate in Analytical Psychology. Drawn to the sea, she’s lucky to live in Newport, RI. Kathleen reflects on poetry and the imaginal world during long walks with her dog, Archie, who never tires of listening.




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