Fleischmanns, A Poem in Eight Parts By Bill Birns

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This is Part One of Fleischmanns, A Poem in Eight Parts

(Imaginative Historical Projection)

By Bill Birns

Part One: On the Porch at Fleischmanns

“So much suffering, the Kennedys.

Like a curse.”


On faded hotel porch,

she tells me, this old woman

in duster and slippers, babushka

pinned round her head,

her Auschwitz childhood

fresh in her mind like yesterday.


“Such a handsome man, that Mengele.

Everyday in boots and long white gloves.

And tall. It is a curse!”


We sit in Bushkill Hollow,

Armstrong Tract, behind

the west slope, Shandakens,

beyond the blue mountains,

here on this run-down hotel porch

at the head of the Fish.


“The father, the old man,

was a bad man. Ambassador,

he turned away the Jews.

They all did. Look at the queen.

At what’s happened to her.

What’s happened? Do you see?

Turned away the Jews

at Palestine, everywhere,

no one lifted a finger.

Only Cuba.

They let a ship in at Cuba.

It is a curse: to see the children die,

to suffer as the Jews suffered.

He lived so long, he and his wife,

to see”


Here in Fleischmanns, faded mountain resort,

survivors sit on rented summer chairs,

of an evening, to remember.

2 thoughts on “Fleischmanns, A Poem in Eight Parts By Bill Birns

  1. Overly Hackled

    Catskill Mountian Memories dance across my mind
    Fleischmsnns in my childhood
    Another place a distant time

    Sun breaks on Bluestone waters ,singing summers song
    A lifetime in one season
    Brief but lifetime long

    Balsam Balm and icecream Magic mystery mix
    Storms gather in the Hollow
    Nothing left to fix
    End Part 1

  2. Pingback: Bill Birns at The 2nd Annual Book Fair at the CIC | UPSTATE DISPATCH

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