Joan I. Siegel from A Passing
In the photo she looked
like my sister’s best friend.
I was in second grade. 1953.
At recess the girls played jump rope.
The boys goose-stepped to “Heil Hitler!”
their fingers made a mustache above the lip.
A German girl in class
invited me to her house after school.
When we got there, I ran all the way home.
I’d heard my parents say Germans
make lampshades and soap
of Jewish skin. My father talked
about cattle cars, concentration
camps. I didn’t understand. He said
the girl died. I cried all night.