“The Knock”

We sleep in our street clothes
My wife and I
Always knowing
The knock
Like the one I hear
On the front door
Must come.

Everything is packed
Save the Menorah
And my father’s
The marking crayons
Lay next to the phone
Which rings
With names.
Names of those
Who have gone before us
And those
Who did not get away.

I wait until my wife
Collects the money.
Money hidden
Behind the loose brick
In the kitchen wall.
Then I open the door.
An SS uniform.
The face of a childhood friend.
The words.
You’re on tomorrow’s list.

I join my wife.
We make our way
On foot
To the railway station.
We carry nothing
No luggage
No stars of David.
Just forged papers
And the hopes
Of crossing the border
Before news
Of our escape
Reaches the patrol.

(Photograph by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, Friday Fictioneers, January 18, 2013.)

This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to “The Knock”

  1. Dave Higgins says:

    Very moving.

    I especially liked the end of the third verse.

  2. tedstrutz says:

    Excellent story, V B…

  3. Yousei Hime says:

    Very nicely done. Every line reveals a bit more, letting a more and more emotion into the tale. Enjoyed it very much.

  4. Sandra says:

    Very effective. Well done.

  5. elappleby says:

    A very moving piece of writing.

  6. Dear VB,
    I echo the comments before this. Moving. I particularly loved the childhood friend in the SS uniform. A righteous gentile.

  7. Miami had wealth of H survivors but age has claimed most. They often made presentations in schools here.

    • vbholmes says:

      The SS school chum in my story was real–he arrived around midnight and the couple really did leave with only the money they had in the house. Hard to imagine times that required such actions.

  8. I sat here for some time, trying to decide what to say that would best convey how much I like this and came up with nothing extraordinary. It brought back, in a modicum of words, so many similar stories that I’ve read while reading about WWII, all of them important in that they are the lives of real people and real situations.


  9. unspywriter says:

    This is wonderful. A good job of making the knock on the door so ominous; then, some redemption. Very well done.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/my-fair-clue/

  10. kz says:

    a moving , well-written tale…

  11. edge of my seat, waiting to see what happens. At first I thought, why not prose, then I caught the rhythm of the piece and realized, yes, poetry. Beautiful story.

  12. Hi V.B.,
    Really good story, developed with sharp details and excellent narration. Ron

  13. JackieP says:

    Excellent! That’s all I can say.

  14. Sarah Ann says:

    Fantastic. Feelings and behaviour summed up beautifully.

  15. I love both the story and the poetry here. Very good.

  16. rich says:

    that’s a good friend who risked himself to bring such a warning. well done.

  17. YJ says:

    Very moving and could have happened. Great work.

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