Klara

at 89
she remains
beautiful,
a widow of two,
a motlier of two,
a grandmotlier of four,
a great-grandmotlier of three,
she keeps all her little belongings
in a thousand individual plastic bags,
and she sits for hours at her brown armoire
and rustles in her parcels,
cotton stockings in one,
rubber bands for the stockings
white and thick in another,
buttons from every dress
ever owned in the third,
in the fourth, birth certificates
for the entire family,
young and strong ones
with our own names,
our own little belongings,
our own separate addresses.
Odd was seeing her name
Klara something, from Budapest
written in chalk on a suitcase
behind the glass
at Auschwitz

Marina Rubin was born in a small town Vinnitsa, Ukraine, in the Former Soviet Union. She came to New York in 1989. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and literary magazines.