By | 1 December 2013
A few words, numbers, a portrait always
Each the same, but different
Reich mark, Zloty, Franc, Pound, Dollar
Hope? Or maps of misery with funny names
Always held so tightly

For some, keys to unlock the gate
From the grey place so many could not leave
Where laughter-and-death waltz, hope abandoned
And still too many forgotten dreams
Sit somewhere in a dark and dusty drawer

How much breath passed with each note? What heart beat with panic or pleasure at the moment of exchange? People live together in families, but who are we really? In times of trouble, the answer can be an ID card or the thickness of the wallet. But money is not money. It is a promise of ‘Hopes and Dreams.’ To have this promise fulfilled we carry other artefacts to tell others, or to hide from them who we are: an enemy of the state, a hero of the revolution, a traitor not quite forgiven, or a child of any of them. Daniela Lewandowski’s Polish and Prussian parents, who survived World War II, brought these artefacts with them to Australia. These are part of their legacy: breath, heartbeat, hopes and dreams.

Return to Story Circle: The Transnational Story Hub and the Inspiraciones Literarias, a chapbook curated by Merlinda Bobis.

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