“Brother” by Maryann Hurtt

Maryann Hurtt, 2012 PSP participant, Mark Jarmon workshop

Maryann Hurtt’s family came to the United States from Bohemia in the 1800s. She first heard of Charles University when she was a little girl. Being able to study and write at the university through the Prague Summer program was an experience that has filled her with a lifetime of inspiration. Since retiring as a hospice nurse four years ago, she has been traveling, writing, reading, and learning everything she can about writing. Aldrich Press published her chapbook, River, in 2016. Maryann’s 99 year old father continues to help her with Czech language skills and Lidice will haunt her the rest of her days.

Brother

Lidice, a village in central Bohemia, was razed on June 10, 1942 during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia following Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heyrich’s assassination. One hundred seventy three Lidice men were shot. Children were taken from mothers and either gassed or sent for “re-education” in Germany. The women were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp. In 1955, a “Garden of Peace & Friendship” was opened. Thousands of rose bushes from around the world have been planted.

ruins and photos and ghosts

haunt the place

they will not be forgotten

in another time

the boy’s face could be my brother

I believe now

he still is

the woman at the museum

tells me

before you leave, go

to the garden

remember

a rose

is thorn and flower

stop your tears

carry on

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