For Lydia

My grandmother, being Jewish, had to escape to Siberia when the Nazis invaded Ukraine.

In blue floral dress, she
sighs. Hands, plump,
rest from their labor.

Dimming eyes scan
grey walls. A broom leans
in the corner,

stew of scraps bubbles
on the stove, preserves
glow green and violet in their jars,

a meager table with chair. Silence
stands vigil. Milky light streams
in through the window.

Wind lilts, weaves the
scarred birch branches,
brings news of the war in the west.

Fresh footprints in the snow.

They are not his,
they were never his,
they have not been his

for years.