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Kayrix 2018 1868 I was walking there from Jersey City ferry in too-tight shoes, taking her to the Central Park on every other Sunday” He laughed his dry laugh. “N-n-ng-ye-eh, I knew her from next village over near us, in same school. In the Magyar, we call her village Peter-hegy; for the Slovenski people, it is Petrovtsi. So, I tell the mother in my Hungary, in my Szabad-hegy, by Austria, by Slovenski border, that I am going to work on logging-crew up by big lake, in fir forests in north, by this lake Balaton. I am seventeen; the father is dead long time, and some other brothers already in army: Lajos and Ferencz, But Antal is here, working in this big steel mill. Plenty jobs here—good ones. I think that I don’t want anything to do with armies. We have no pasture. I am taking this cow every day to village land and the women are carrying our water long way from town well. I think then it is better to go—now. But I don’t tell mother because I am her baby, her Sandor-leli. So I go at night to train station in our town, where we always get on carts going north to forests. But my friend has given me ticket to Lubljana on Slovenski side, west, where I get papers and telegram from Antal. I jump onto train that night. Never see mother again, you know. She is sure I am working up at Balaton. But I never smell cold air and green pines at Balaton again either. Never see all the high stars above mountains. He stared in silence at the sky. “Never see mother again”, thought the girl. The soft pale grandmother inside the kitchen door never saw her mother again. And, upstairs, the girl’s own mother never saw her illiterate,

polyglot Lithuanian mother again after she was thirteen—even here in the new country. That grandmother died of pneumonia, weeping into the christening robes of three baby boys, and they, dead from diphtheria, one after the other, in their old cradle in the poor tenement over by the river—the worst part of the neighborhood. That grandmother had spent her few remaining years, after the last death, dragging the mother in the morning darkness to novenas at the Lithuanian church—offered up to yet another mother, for these three dead sons…. “Never see mother again”, the grandfather suddenly repeated, staring as if he might find her in the stars above the neighborhood. He was Lutheran, so praying to that Catholic Mother-of-Mothers did not occur to him….”Never see mother again.” “Tell more”, spoke up the girl—instinctively seeking to bring this grandfather back here next to her in the yard. “Where did you go then?” “Lubljana, far into mountains, west to Trieste—where everyone speaks Slovenski or the Italian. Now the Magyar is for us boys ourselves. So we tell them in Slovenski we are going to Geneva in the Switzerland. In the Switzerland we have to speak in Deutsch—in the German. We don’t like this German—belongs now to Kaiser. But this German is all they are understanding where we go in Geneva, and we were learning it in the school—and from some Oesterreicher soldiers. But, now, in this Geneva, more tickets, more papers. He looked down at her, “You have to always learn everything where you are; you have to be careful. Figure out who is speaking what. Learn that.

KAYRIX: St. Benedict's Literary Magazine - Spring 2018  

KAYRIX is the name given to the literary magazine published annually by the students of St. Benedict's Prep. While our goal is to publish a...

KAYRIX: St. Benedict's Literary Magazine - Spring 2018  

KAYRIX is the name given to the literary magazine published annually by the students of St. Benedict's Prep. While our goal is to publish a...

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