July 30, 2014 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION





Ilona Martonfi



Down this road, on an autumn day in 1989, the children left. When they had gone:

comic books, marbles. Carton boxes. Brick walls sloshed with lime wash, wide plank

oak floors. Marble fireplace, il pianoforte. Pa’s voice: “Give me your mother’s

number at the women’s shelter. Otherwise, you have to leave the house by six

o’clock!” Two adult daughters, twelve-year-old son, moved to their married sister’s

house. Unloading the rooms, armful by armful. Dressers and mattresses. Easels,

brushes, gesso. Staccato music, a taleteller: there where the sidewalk meets two

apple trees. Its soaring glass solarium, pool. Sauna. How many memories does a

child need? Mundane reality. Sloughed off erasure. The day, we emptied the blue

sky. Stepped outside of it.









Ilona Martonfi



Renteria bridge over the Mundaka River

beside a railway station,

estuary on the edge of a Basque village,

adobe coloured villas: red clay roof tiles,

magnolia trees burning.

Bombing as a motif for a painting

black and white unbleached muslin

gives no reason to accuse

shrieking, mutilated women, men, children,

bulls and horses. Monochrome mural canvas:

I am with them, running,

hiding in cellars, green fields

church bells of Santa Maria

sounded the alarm that afternoon,

April 26, 1937. Monday, market day —

there is no time to it, the bodies,

oxcarts with steel wheels, un-massacred

subjective documentary photograph —

rehearsal for war: “Aviones, bombas,

mucho, mucho.”

People cut down as they ran.



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