Rachel Dragos
| poetry


It’s what we don’t say
that holds us together.

In the late afternoon,
walking along the Danube
we talk about the hills

and the color of the water,
the street names
as foreign and clumsy

in our mouths as sand.
My father, slapping the concrete
with his umbrella as he walks,

wonders aloud about
peace and wars that tear apart
countries and names.

A hundred years ago,
my family said goodbye
to this tiny corner of the blue sky.

We are both here and there.

Here, in Budapest,
where the pregnant hills
meet hollow flatness.

But we are also
in the innards of New Jersey
where my father

is the youngest brother again.
We are thinking
of the American Dream

and trundle beds,

wars on radios
and bombs that fell, and didn’t.

I’m glad we are here, together.

It’s just the two of us
walking and chatting,
the way it’s always been.

We are taking
one last lap around the block,
the weavings of the past

spread out behind us
like our heavy coats, or wings.

Rachel Dragos is a graduate of Kenyon College, where she studied English and chemistry. Her poetry has been published in Bellevue Literary Review. She lives in San Francisco and teaches high school chemistry.

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