The impact of parents' experiences has affected our parents' generation too. I offer this poem from our group in London, written by a woman who was 12 when her mother died on the train at Chok Pak, on the way out of Siberia (Polish version follows the English - let me know if there are translation errors!)
I am sitting at the table
drinking coffee -
Outside, it=s cloudy; grey weather
And in the heart, sorrow for mother...
Eyes fill with tears, the heart pounds like a hammer
Yet there were times
When parents were there,
There were brothers and sisters, a house, a dog and a cat.
Childhood years passed by
The child became grown,
learning from strangers in a camp,
Because the child suddenly lacked: mother.
Oh God! - strange are Your roads
Your paths, Your laws, Your teachings
The child grows and becomes a grandmother
And yearns for mother - for heart.
Because now she divides her own
among children and grandchildren.
London Ont. 2001
Translated from the Polish original by Wanda Sawicki
Siedze sobie przy stole
Popijajac kawe -
Na dworze chmurno - szaruga
A w sercu smutno za mama....
Oczy zachodza lzami, serce kolacze jak mlot
Przeciez byly chwile
Gdy byli rodzice
Bylo rodzenstwo, dom, pies I kot.
Minely lata dzieciece
Dziecko doroslym sie staje
Od obcych ludzi w obozie sie uczy
Bo dziecku zabraklo - mamy.
O Boze - dziwne Twe drogi
Twe sciezki, Twe prawa, Twoje nauki
Dziecie dorasta I babcia sie staje
I teskni za mama - za sercem
Bo swoje dzieli wsrod dzieci I wnuki.