Message Sent

A loud CRASH breaking the silence, followed by raining shards of glass hit the parquet floor, my polish grandfather had crafted.

Scrambling up the stairs, a jagged gaping hole through the window pane in the living room. Icy Chicago winter air curling around us.   My grandmother now frozen in disbelief, tears running down her round cheeks.

Inching closer to the grenade, I reached for the large hunk of black coal wrapped in brown butcher’s paper, tied with string.

The scribbled lettering said “Get out polack, if you know what is good for you.”

Now my whole body was trembling. Should I translate the words to Busia?

Her head now shaking uncontrollably, left to right, left to right, as she dabbed the tears with her flour covered apron, she understood the message that pierced her core, that pierced her view of the prairie.

Would she stay or would she leave the home in the land of the free, she escaped to at a mere sixteen, risking everything.   This home she built with her husband to raised her six children?

She needed no translation.

 

 

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