The Orchard Will Bloom

Ma squeezes her worn collection of Erben poems into my overstuffed rucksack.

“Food feeds the body. Poetry lifts the soul, helps us endure. Treasure it.”

Last moments in our flat. Heydrich, the Butcher of Prague, was assassinated yesterday and Nazi reprisals have started. Ma has bribed our way onto a truck filled with potatoes, scheduled to cross the Czech border and head to Belgium and the Channel. Unless we get arrested.

I open the Erben book, read aloud,

“…Mother mine, golden mother,

I fear the Waterman…”

“Hope,” Ma says, handing me a sweet bun. “We’ll overcome.”


Andrew Stancek: The work of Andrew Stancek has appeared in numerous journals, including SmokeLong Quarterly, Frigg, New World Writing, New Flash Fiction Review and Jellyfish Review. FacebookEmail.