Clemens Kalischer

Mark Jackley‘s most recent book of poems is On the Edge of a Very Small Town. His work has appeared in Sugar House Review, Fifth Wednesday, Talking River, Timberline Review, and other journals. He lives in Purcellville, VA.


Clemens Kalischer

In his pictures of people arriving from Europe after the war,
his subjects are bone tired.
Some are slumped like luggage,

a few of them fast asleep. They are watchful in their dreams.
Most look to be as ancient
as an elephant’s eyes.

They too escaped the hunter’s gun and will never forget.
They are dressed for the occasion
in suits and ties, dresses.

Two girls on the dock are
whispering and laughing, beaming like the secrets
of a morning star.

 

[image: Clemens Kalischer, untitled, from the “Displaced Persons” series, 1947–48. Gelatin silver print, 11 by 14 inches. Colby College Museum of Art. The Lunder Collection.]

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