LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 49, No.3 - Fall 2003
Editor of this issue: Violeta Kelertas
Copyright © 2003 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
Never have I seen an icon of St. Casimir in your outpost,
nor a book in their Indo-European tongue,
a free election,
or a theater for ballet and opera.
I've never heard of a family with enough
potatoes and bacon for a pan
a public smile of perfect teeth,
an amber necklace adorning a maiden,
Not even a picket cross because
there are no nails.
Never a cable like this:
Kaunas, June 14, 1941—Manhunt:
First deportations of 30,000 Lithuanians
in the reign of terror,
freezing the futures of scholars, seamen,
farmers and Great Uncle Charles.
Dossiers kept on clergy by the secret police.
Tomorrow the USSR will attempt to
control their thoughts.
They went by train
(speaking again of the USSR)
and never saw their homeland again.
Lithuanians Only—Lithuanians Only.
You will partake of the ''people's diet,"
It ashens their alabaster skin and
balds their blond skulls.
Lithuanians Only—Lithuanians Only,
"Russified" by forced exile into slave labor camps
My head bursts for Uncle Charles.
Soviet Union, arrests and mass deportations
are your battle strategies
to control the Baltic Sea.
"All right, Moscow, you want their seaports
for your navy's fleet";
Klaipeda, the only seaport viable in winter
because it does not freeze over.
Fishing dinghies replaced by Soviet submarines.
Country on a wanted poster.
My heart bursts fort Uncle Charley.
Eel of the Baltic Sea,
swim home to the sand dunes and seagrass.