“You cannot leave your mother an orphan.” Joyce
Not some other country’s sky,
Not some other’s housing wings –
I was there, with them, my them,
my own misfortunates.
An Other Introduction
In the ghastly years of the Yezhov Terror, I passed seventeen months standing, waiting in line outside a Leningrad prison. One day, somehow, someone “identified” me. And a woman behind me, her mouth blue with cold, who, of course, had never heard of me, started out of her numb and shared distraction, and said to me, quite close (we all whispered, there) :
Ah, can you write this ?
And I said, Yes.
And something nearly a smile slipped across her face, and made it one again.