Picnic at Belarus – Judith Robinson

for Father Patrick Desbois*


The children are there, too.
Some know the Mozart,
Others are bored.

Late afternoon: they march around.
Imitate the soldiers.
The parents lay out the picnic.
The wursts and cabbage. The clamor for sweets.


This was the verdant east,
murder fields different than the west;
The children accept it,
Keep their thoughts to themselves.
Rat-a-tat! Rat-a-tat!
They fall down brilliantly.


Costly: one vital metal bullet per Jew.
Newly found, an addendum to the story.
Torn hankies wipe the milky mouths;
The real hand waves goodbye again.

*Patrick Desbois is a French priest who has newly discovered fields of bodies of Jews murdered by the Nazis in Russia, Ukraine, and other adjacent areas.

Judith R. Robinson* is a visual artist, editor, teacher, fiction writer and poet. A 1980 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, she is listed in the Directory of American Poets and Writers. She has published 75+ poems, five poetry collections, one fiction collection; one novel; edited or co-edited eleven poetry collections. Teacher: Osher at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Her newest collection, “Carousel,” was published in January, 2017, Lummox Press. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry, 2018, by Blue Unicorn Journal. Her website is www.judithrrobinson.com.


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