Haute Dish The Arts & Literature Magazine of Metropolitan State University red flower
Summer 2005

 

 

 


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ghosts
Sandra Simbeck

Doomed, my grandmother utters, as a menthol cigarette
hangs lifeless in her hand.
I was born in Minnesota,
one year before the crash of ’29.
The last of sixteen children.
Only two of us are left:
Me and your Aunt Cathy.

Our family’s history with depression, she explains,
started back in Italy
and had nothing to do with the Stock Market.

Mother and Father came to America
to escape poverty. Deciding to leave
after burying four children, they took
their remaining two babies
and booked passage to America.

Luck was not on their side.

As they neared Ellis Island, their two children
became very ill and died.
Their tiny bodies were
cast overboard
into the unmerciful ocean
without a proper funeral.

They were doomed. Mother and Father
treaded onto
American soil
with the ghosts of
Six Children
trailing
behind.

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