Two Poems By J. Weintraub

My Father’s Victory Garden: 1945

Once a farmer's meadow, this plot
of urban land beyond the shadows
of the Lutheran church, a few blocks
above the homes that stretched in long rows
of red bricking, each identical, designed
for new fathers, like my father, in their prime;
 
a plot of earth where families could grow
their green produce, save their ration points in times
of world war; and there my father, who was blind
in one eye, could do his part to defeat
Axis hordes; could dig and hoe weekends, nights
after work, wage war against rot and blight,
Jimson weed and grub, for carrots and beets,
corn and onions (yellow globe, Springfield white)
to keep his new family well fed and free,
while his brother, cousins, dug in to fight
in jungles and farmer's fields overseas.

Assisted Care, Arcadia, PA

My mother walks among walking dreams
where each forgets a piece of her life each day
as she lets slip her own. There’s Maureen,
who speaks to us in code, every word displaced,
askew, yet everything would all come clear
if only the key to the code could be found;
and Anne entrapped in Arbor Green—she fears
the shadows and echoes resounding down
the hall from Purple Grove, where her neighbors reside,
along with Mom and others like Kate who now hides
behind the couch to escape Lorraine who taught
elementary school, teaching again each day
for Mom and Kate (or whoever else is caught
in the commons room), gathering love, esteem
from her boys and girls, sheltered together, safe
from the world outside, sealed inside her dream.

A member of the Dramatists Guild, J. Weintraub has had one-act plays and staged readings produced throughout the world. He has published fiction, essays, and poetry in all sorts of literary places, from The Massachusetts Review to New Criterion, from Prairie Schooner to Modern Philology. He has been an Around-the-Coyote poet and a StoneSong poet, and, as a translator he has introduced the Italian horror writer Nicola Lombardi to the English speaking-public and his annotated translation of Eugène Briffault’s Paris à table: 1846 was published by Oxford University Press in 2018. More at https://jweintraub.weebly.com/

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