Sunday Dinner at Konigstrasse – Cro Page

2021 Crabbe Competition – 3rd Prize
Adjudicator: Anne-Marie Fyfe

Epilepsy?” (this my mother
          incredulous
          affronted)
“Of course gran’mutti didn’t have epilepsy.
          The very idea!
A touch of petit mal, maybe…
          …but that’s completely different.
Not epilepsy at all.
– And if it was, then not enough to count.”

(Grandmother – Gran’mutti – my mother’s mother,
          lived a life of drama, dramatically:
          dropping floorward frequently, without warning
          wherever she was – even the dinner table –
          Scattering, clattering silver, gilt,
          Spilling silver-gilt tresses
with the gravy and the glasses
staining drawn red thread-work.
Crash. Smash.
Splash.

My grandfather, calm in crisis, scooping, lifting;
Blonde children at their plates
– unflapped, incurious,
Encircled by the fumes of Abendessen

And that was that.

Petit mal.
A simple definition kept at bay
          The ever-circling fumes of Zyklon B)

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