Liz Marlow

Hannah’s New Home

Minsk Ghetto, November 20, 1941

The Secret (Das Geheimnis) by Felix Nussbaum

White-washed wooden
doors greet us, opening
with oiled restraint.
Mama points me to a bed
missing a blanket
with blue linens
like clean water
and a cratered pillow,
while a warm bowl
invites her to eat
matzo ball soup
at a slanted table.
Chairs that feathers
recently dusted
hide memories
under flattened,
aging cushions
where they sag,
revealing a lean
toward light.


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 Secret (Das Geheimnis) by Felix Nussbaum (1904-1944). Oil on canvas. 61 x 74 cm. 1939. Public domain.