A Hug | Teen Ink

A Hug

February 17, 2010
By Jared Dauman GOLD, Chappaqua, New York
Jared Dauman GOLD, Chappaqua, New York
16 articles 0 photos 0 comments


You came to say you’d be right back,
Just going down to get us a loaf of whatever,
Would return before dinnertime, you said,
A habitual task of no great consequence.

You came in for a hug,
But I turned away,
Too busy with my seven-year old friends,
Insolence my signature for the day.

That was yesterday.


I pace back and forth,
Desperate for your return,
Dinnertime has come and gone,
Mother could not cook a morsel,
Tears and panic now in charge.

We carry the same heavy fear,
Shielding innocent young Sonia from the real,
Saying you were delayed on a train,
Fighting hard to keep back the tears,
Struggling to hide the inevitable,
While her questions pound at our ears.
In the days of the Fuhrer,
The Slaughterer of our People,
The Destroyer of our Race,
A father’s return cannot be taken for granted,
For Jews like us.

Unlike Mother I have already accepted,
That in this indefinite game,
Of Hide and Seek,
You have been found,
While we are still sought.

I am plagued by a secret question,
One I am too ashamed to share,
I know I will never find an answer,
Why didn’t I hug you Yesterday?

This is today.


I must hold my head high,
Mother and Sonia needing leadership by then,
We will stay strong and hidden,
For I will not let us all end.

We will stay alive,
And await a savior,
Whose name we do not know,
The Nazis will not take us,
I can assure you of that.
Tomorrow is forever.

It will never become Yesterday,
For if it was Yesterday again,
I would give you that one extra hug,
That no one, not even the Fuhrer,
Could ever take away.

The author's comments:
Inspired by Li Po’s “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” which was translated by Ezra Pound.

Based on a true story.

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