SNAPSHOTS


HALCYON  DAYS: for my late mother
 
The Star of David crowns
the old pine tree,
a woman waits;
grass sprouts from her,
she’s taking root.
 
A piano swims through
an ocean of glass, takes
residence again, watchful.
Small fingers bridge ebony
to ivory
 
Someone on hands and knees
polishes the floor to honey,
small bed-socks glide
toward morning
 
Snap-shot-
together, apron-chic, polka-dot 
wooden spoon stirring.
Chocolate- smudged,
tip-toe-table-top tall,
remember?
 
 
Bonney Bombach
2017


THE REHEARSAL: For Claire
 
In yesterday’s mossy garden
on small girl knees, entwined
in childhood’s kiss, we conjure
fairy cakes of earth and petals,
our mother’s kitchens close,
our bedroom walls transparent to
our wills and wedded beds,
our nightly whisperings
an unheard rehearsal
for the day.
 
Bonney Bombach
2017


VICARIOUS
 
Blond, groomed
like her prized Samoyeds,
straight-backed
 
For her daughter,
a confection spun of
satin and tulle, she has
plummy-mouthed ambitions
to rival the show dogs.
Wants her to be a winner too.
 
Father, beaky as a bird,
cross-eyed behind Coke-bottle lenses,
his presence an absence,
status unknown.
 
My ten year old self surveys
this mismatched coupling –
ballet mum,
brittle as eggshell, bright as steel
has leashed them all!
 
 
Bonney Bombach
2017


BITTER STIRRINGS
 
  Tramping around the lake
sensible shoes, discarding
layers in the gathering heat.
 
Elderberries dangle on
bright sprigs, blackberries
straggle, enticing.
 
I grasp an overhanging runner
prickled as a fish hook-
it snags me.
 
And in the untangling,
a childhood tumble of
purple-stained Sundays
 
gathering berries
plucking pine-forest mushrooms
baskets brimming…
 
…and from her basket
my mother’s story spills –
your grandmother scavenged
 
in the Wienerwald,
all the men away,
alle weg
 
fighting the Kaiser’s war.
The Jews were good enough for that she says.
Bitter stirrings.
 
On her father’s return she broke
to tears but in all my years
 I never saw her weep,
 
the grief too deep.
The Fuhrer had other ideas.
Bitter stirrings.
 
 
Bonney Bombach
2017/19


THE WITNESS
 
The mother stern, thin
no sun within.
Small daughter stands
hiccup- helpless in kitchen
head thrust back, water glass
shoved to mouth.
The mother, persistent, towers –
something about drinking
                    water
        backwards.
 
Witness to this horror,
at eight I‘m already resistant
to her tyranny.
 
It’s well the father has no hiccups-
she’de tip him backwards too,
his roly- poly warmth succumbing
to her steely will.
 
Fast forward  >>  
no surprise to hear the
teenage daughter breaks,
institution-crazy.
 
But wait, perhaps the snapshot’s
too black and white, a little
blurred around the edges, for
only now, six decades later,
I make no sense of the
backward-drinking caper.
 
Still, my feeling was right and
I’ve no tolerance for standover tactics!
 
 
 
Bonney Bombach
2016/18