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Saturday Afternoon

Brooklyn, 1940s

What I know is what she chose to confide

to my mother after my father had died—

how she turned to retrieve her purse, the young man

selling subscriptions at her door, hat in hand,

and how when she came back, he revealed a knife.

That she submitted, and so saved her life.

She never said a word. What I can guess

is that she could guess a policeman’s questions.

And her thanks for a Sunday to simply sleep.

And to wake Monday to face young people,

chatter of their weekends that morning in class,

not likely to ask how hers might have passed,

my aunt, who never married, their history

teacher, to some like an older sister.


Peter Schmitt, of Miami, Florida, is the author of Goodbye, Apostrophe (Regal House).  He has

also recently edited and written the introduction for his late father's Pan Am Ferry Tales: A

World War II Aviation Memoir (McFarland).


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