When I’m Gone

by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

Who will remember a girl’s crush
On Adlai Stevenson? The earnest precinct

Walks, the beloved silver lapel
Pin—a shoe with a hole in its sole—

Meaning eggheads are lovable—Remember Einstein’s
Mismatched socks? Who will remember

The violet glow of Oma’s eyes
Telling tales of Erich, the dying tiger

In the Berlin Zoo—his throaty greeting
Each time she came to paint him—before she knew

She was marked a Jew. Who will remember
How safe it seemed in America? The war was won

The streets were calm, a child could play
Cowboys and Indians all day until dusk

How green the lawns, how sweet the smell
Of honeysuckle, before the House Un-American

Committee, before billy clubs and dogs, before
Four little girls in church

Before Howl?

Who will remember her skinny
Little girl’s body, before breasts had their way

And nothing was safe anymore?

Naomi is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Berkeley, CA and the poetry and fiction editor of Psychological Perspectives, which is published by the Los Angeles Jung Institute. She is the author of a memoir about her writing life, The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way. Her third book of poems, Adagio & Lamentation, was recently published.


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