During your departure
My daughter really wants a pet.
She’s been collecting dandelions all spring. Not yellow dandelions, but white ones, the ones with the seeds that spread all around when you blow on them. just about to spread their seeds (they are known as “Saba Flower” in Hebrew).
She calls the fuzzy seeds "spiders" and builds homes for them.
If one of the “spiders” gets lost, she cries miserably.
On the phone I tell her Kazimiers is full of white dandelions, they’re everywhere, and she asks me to bring her a big one. I see many large ones in the Remah cemetery between the graves. I leave all the dandelions behind in Kazimiers.
On the way to the airport, I ask the driver to stop if he sees one.
“It’s a little hard at this time because it’s dark,” he says. “We can try.”
We stop at the side of the road and he gives me a flashlight.
I see big ones in the ditch, and then a few steps down a large round large one.
His white hairs are spread and airy and uneven, the way my grandfather’s white hair would look like just before he would make an appointment with his barber.
Gently, I detach the stem from the ground. It is only very lightly connected. I walk slowly into the car with it so it won't blow away. I empty out a box of painkillers and place it inside the box in the dark.
Some spiders escape. I can see some of them on the black jacket I’m wearing each time we pass under a highway light. I place the medicine box in my bag’s back pocket, thinking of my daughter's face lighting up as I tell her what I've brought back for her from Kraków.
In memory of my beloved grandfather
and his parents who he missed all his life
Yechiel Mechel Rosenberg
born Sep. 24th, 1889-murdered in Auschwitz March 5th, 1943
and Ester Rosenberg (Rotwachs)
born Oct. 5th, 1893-murdered n Auschwitz March 5th, 1943
With gratitude to the people of the Jewish Culture Festival who spend their years
giving voice to all that was silenced.