It was a spring day, as I remember
Yes, it comes back to me now.
I was sipping my coffee and reading the newspaper.
Suddenly, a strong rapping at my door.
I went to see who it could be, so early on this morning...
Yes, it was the Spring,
For the daffodils had just begun to bloom.
I opened the door...
It was a face I knew
From many years past... A friend from school...
He smiled, for yes, he remembered me.
He looked good in his uniform, crisp and strong...
Have you seen the Jew, the Gypsy or the Communist?
His eyes were much like mine, his heart was pure.
No, I know none of these.
With a nod of the head, a nod of the heart, the door was closed.
I sit at home and sip my morning coffee.
A friend like that... So many years ago.
How did it come to be... We were not much different.. then..
Yet he went his way...
It was a few months later as I recall
That the black billowing smoke began.
From beyond the hill, just beyond the old cemetery lot
The smoke that rained down like a midnight blizzard
Covering every street and house and car
With a feathery black and silken snow.
I met my friend a bit later then.
At the market. I needed some flour for my bread.
He a bar of soap.
He was now a Commandant, of that place just beyond the hill.
We chatted for a while
And he told me that all indeed was going well.
You see, there was a war, but I could not fight.
My health was bad. It was understood.
Though the chimneys billowed still, night from night.
Each morning another dark layer of snowy black.
Covered every window ledge, every yellow daffodil.
The years came and went
And I met my friend merely one more time,
It was at the theater, if I recall.
Yes, there still was theater, we still went.
It was winter, cold and gaunt
And the snow was deep --
A dark meter now, more or less,
Of black ashened ice and soot.
The show that night -- I really don't remember.
But my friend...
We met outside, just beneath the dimmed marquis.
A fine falling greyish silt blurring all that we could see.
He took my hand -- no smile then.
I looked around at the blackened cityscape,
Perhaps there was a question I could have asked,
To wonder why and where the white winters went.
But all he did was to thank me for my support.
And then disappeared
Behind a curtain of frozen smoke.
And then the war was done.
I never saw that friend again.
He went his way...
The coffee spills,
the brown circle dampens and begins to spread,
The story ruined, I turn the page...
To see just beyond the window pane
A single daffodil leaning towards the wind,
Its heart opened unto the sun.