Lvov, Ukraine 2008

“For three days, Ukrainian militants went on a rampage
through the Jewish districts of Lvov. They took groups of
Jews to the Jewish cemetery and to Lunecki prison and shot
them.” Holocaust Encyclopedia

On the mounds ringing the Piaski Ravine
Polish black and white munch the forgiving grass —
lazy solar factories converting soil and cellulose
back to milhig and fleisch — to milk and meat.

Lvov’s children gulp their milk and biscuits before
rushing out to climb the apple trees — juicy globes
to chew, nourished by roots sucking fleshy nutrients
from the earth beneath the grass — calcium, protein.

On a Janowska Street park bench, the nursing
mother looks up to the tower clock and thinks
about the ribs she’ll bake for dinner, with potatoes
from the garden, and some greens. She burps her baby.

From the back seat the tourist says ‘Lvov ghetto’.
The driver says ‘This taxi doesn’t go there’.

Lois Roisman was the first executive director of the Jewish Fund for Justice. She now writes poetry and thinks about things in Lyme, NH.