10.3 (Spring 2006)
Top Girl
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Evelyn PosamentierListen




i went out again the other day looking for grandmother
on the internet & found toska feuchtbaum
instead, a 7-year-old girl, whose shy smile
was captured in the photo her father clutched
all those nights of not knowing, on the run.

the smile of surprise, perhaps a birthday party
later that day, not quite yet the end of vienna.

went out again the other day looking
for grandmother on the internet & saw
toska & her mother at the bahnhof
being shipped east to poland, held out till now.
same train as grandmother & grandfather:

the startled testimony of the photos of children
whispering shoah.

went out again, grandmother, looking
for you on the internet, & waited patiently
for the images to load on the browser.
this time it is the transit camp itself, typhus & all.
& still there is no word from you.


Toska, Again

this time, toska, i printed your picture off the internet
finding you, as i do, every time i go out looking
for grandmother.  toska feuchtbaum, born april 8, 1935
in vienna, austria.  that shy smile, fulfilling
the testimony of children’s destinies.

when i dare, i insert your image beside one
in my head of grandmother, & both of you
nod to the future.


Toska at the Banhof

peek at sobibor on infoseek
(knock, knock, is grandmother there?)
& find the cybrary at remember.org
all calling, all silent.

the water ripples, the sky shudders in response.

toska at the bahnhof, toska on the page
of children’s testimony (click on next ten, always
to the next citation) knock, knock, is
grandmother there? peek at sobibor

on infoseek, deportation statistics & the staccato
list of operation reinhard aktion dates.

toska at the collection point, grandmother
between the pages of a prayerbook
(daughter already escaped with photo)

peek at sobibor on infoseek
(toska & grandmother on the same load)
both last seen at the bahnhof:  vienna, may 12, 1942.


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