They Tell Of The Warsaw Uprising

by Nijole Miliauskaite

Nijole Miliauskaite

- I was nineteen
with flamethrowers
(it was a new weapon then)
from house
to house
I slipped
on the stairs, hurt myself - such
a sticky mass, jelly, something spilled, an open
door into the room, where
the parents slept, and here
a newborn
- did you understand then that you weren't fighting
the regular army
but civilians?
- I didn't see
anyone with a uniform
some had bands on their arms, some
had insignia
I later heard that one or another
crawled out from the piles of corpses
but there, where the flamethrowers passed,
no one was left
(he covers his face with his hands and weeps)
- I, she says, crawled out, I
one woman says
still only a girl
I went to the hospital
to visit my mother
they took us there, into that cellar (she points), people
fell and fell, I covered my head
with my hands (if only they wouldn't hit me
directly!) fell
and did not move
they hurt my shoulder, I was silent and didn't move, people
fell and fell, one on top of another
they left, I was afraid to move, suddenly
smelled smoke
I had such
long thick braids then, I pulled
a scarf from a corpse, tied it on -
I was most afraid that fire
would catch my hair
I choked
when I could no longer bear it
jumped through the fire -
- when the processing began
when it began
I couldn't sleep
(he weeps
the old

Last updated January 14, 2019