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).