13.4 (Summer 2009)   The 2River View AuthorsPoemsPDFMake a bookArchives2River

Peter Joseph Gloviczki


I pull the check out from under the coffee cup. This is not my mother's
diner. We had bread in the mornings, bread by 5:30, we had bread that
customers cut with their teeth. Tell me, she says, why you chose to let
him die. I tell her after a while there's nothing you can do, that after a while
the organs go rogue. She pulls out a pocketknife. She sets it on the table
and lets it spin. I watch the knife make its little red circles, how the Swiss
cross becomes a blur and then stops.


There is a town in Hungary that is three miles away from the Austrian
border. In the winter of 1956, mothers held hands with their sons and
daughters and ran as fast as they could. When you asked where they
were going, all they said was away. It didn't matter where they had
been, that wasn't the point anymore. The point, as far as anyone
actually knew, was to keep breathing. Husbands had gone into hiding,
pressed a couple forints into their wives palms, and then went off to
keep breathing. Now, it was up to the wives, as mothers, to keep
breathing, too. Mothers, of course, had the added burden of making
sure their kids kept breathing. So they ran, and to make sure they
stayed together, they held hands.

Peter Joseph Gloviczki lives in Minnesota. His poems have appeared in The 2River View, 32 Poems,
The Christian Science Monitor, Margie, The New Orleans Review,
and elsewhere. contact