Lost in Stalingrad

A short preface to my poem.  This morning I was contacted by my seminary friend Mindy H,  asking me if I would share a poem I wrote many years ago.  This was originally published in 1981 in The Wittenberg Review of Literature & Art,  Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio.   My name, at that time was Ann Rinderknecht.


Lost in Stalingrad

Your last letter came months ago;
the censor’s shears had edited
all mention of location.
Like a crippled shadow
Your letter found its way into my hands —
gaping with holes,
pointing nowhere,
a fragment only —
a shadow of your life.

The trains return weekly
saluting War as Omnipotent Editor.
Conspicuously absent
are so many of the faces that are
known to us as fathers, sons,
brothers, lovers, husbands.
They bring to us a maimed testimonial to War
a shattered fragment alive for peace —
a shadow of winter in Russia.

Others have erected stones
of defeat or resignation,
but until I have found you
I cannot. I cannot.

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