Liz Marlow

Mikhail’s Soup

Tuchinka Pogrom, Minsk Ghetto, November 20, 1941

The Pearls (Mourners) by Felix Nussbaum

Planets, balls of bread
spiral in broth,
where spoons bathe
in wooden bowls.
Steam’s fingers point
to the open door
down Suhaja Street
while she clutches
her favorite red leather
handbag, and I carry
my quilted blanket.
She squeezes my hand
like a balloon string
as we walk to the end,
as she forgets, and I
remind her of my soup
cooling and tummy
grumbling, while dogs
growl at our hands
smelling of otherness.

*On November 7 and 20, 1941, Nazis murdered thousands of Jews from the Minsk Ghetto. Beginning November 11, trains filled with German Jews arrived to fill the homes of the dead.


About the writer:
Liz Marlow’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Carolina Quarterly, The Greensboro Review, the minnesota review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband and two children.

Image: The Pearls (Mourners) by Felix Nussbaum (1904-1944). No medium specified. No size specified. 1938. Public domain.