The winter Clara and I secretly discovered socialism
we had nothing left in the house
that was worth burning.
The frost surrounded the bedroom,
we talked to keep warm
and I suggested to write on the walls.
We used the kitchen knife to sharpen crayons
and kept at it for a couple of hours.
‘All western countries, enemies of the people!
Kill the foreigners!
Kill Ronald Reagan!’
I thought Ro-nald was such a bad name
for a man who never wrote children books,
probably he deserved to die.
My spelling was not very good at that age,
so the room filled with rainbows instead.
Clara and I laughed.
At that point, we felt hungry and I remembered
mother kept the bible covered with cloth
on top of the fridge
so I lifted the shiny red cover, sliced it in very small pieces
and added water and salt.
The feast carried on for a bit.
Clara and I chewed with determination several chapters.
We almost got half way through
when I read: ‘Then there shall be a time of trouble …for
every one that shall be found written in the book.’
And then, in the middle of our small apartment,
the game stopped.
I went back to the wall
and changed the words around.
‘Ro-land, orphan but free’.
Photograph: @John Stadnicki, ‘Piazza’, 2016