Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

I Call Myself Pentimento

 No one sees me

No one really looks

I’m dressed up, dolled up

to look 21 when I’m only 14.

Primped and pimped

That’s me.

Made to look enticing and exciting.

Someone other than I truly am.

Someone I surely am not!

Don’t know where in the world I am.

Some famous race track town.

My pimp, ‘Mr. K.’ – he wants

us girls to call him that –

is happier than I’ve seen him in weeks.

‘Lots of Money to be made here,

little girls, so let’s get to work.’

His ‘let’s’ means ‘us little girls’

Mr. K doesn’t like it when ‘us girls’

talk to each other but

the one next to me in his van

looks so terrified I say,

‘Hey, my name is Pentimento’

She says, ‘That’s no name I never, ever heard of.’

I say, ‘I named myself. It’s a high-society-sounding

name. Unusual. Men remember it and

ask for me and that makes Mr. K happy

and that’s what keeps us safe and alive.’

I walk alone into the hotel lobby

making myself invisible to

some prying eyes and noticed

by other eyes. I stay in the shadows

hiding behind what’s already there but

visible to those looking for someone like me.

that’s why I call myself Pentimento.

It means something like hiding in plain sight

or artist’s regret  or some such…..

Well, I don’t know what regrets

that artist fellow had about the hour

he spent with me last year.

Mostly he talked about art and

how in some old paintings

you can see where the artist changed his mind and

painted over something.

‘Over time,’ he said, ‘the old figure starts to bleed through:

a dog where a little boy now stands, a balloon where

a cloud now floats overhead.’

And I thought heck, that’s me!

My old self is covered over by

this make-up and these god-awful clothes.

But my real, true self is still in here

peeking out and obvious to

someone who is really looking,

who  wants to see Me.     Lucy.

I’m too young-looking even with

this get-up on to go into

the hotel bar so I stand around the

edges of the lobby avoiding the desk clerk and

normal-looking patrons.

I see Mr. K outside holding that new girl

in a vise-grip and yelling without raising his voice one iota.

He shoves her into the hotel’s rotating door.

I’m so intent on watching them I don’t

hear the man come up behind me until

he strokes my shoulder

with his diamond-ringed hand.

‘Hey sugar, what’s your name?’

I turn and plaster my sweetest,

little girl sexy smile  on my face.

‘Pentimento.’

‘That’s quite the name. What’s it mean?’

‘It means let’s go upstairs and have a good time.’

While we wait until we can get on

an empty elevator car

I put my hand out and say

‘This’ll be $100 right now and more later

if you know what I mean.’

He puts something in my hand

as he backs out the closing elevator door.

It’s 2 $100 bills and a business card.

I  read the card 2x  as I slide down to the elevator floor.

Finally, finally after 4 long,

lonely, tortured years

someone sees me

ME, Lucy.

I no longer have to be Pentimento.

 

The card says:

If you are in trouble dial this number ***

We are ‘Eyes Wide Open’

We see You and are here to help You.

We care about You.

Call us.

 

 

Eyes Wide Open

On August 12, 2015 my friend Debbie Fowler – with moral support from me – officially started a 501(c)3 Non-Profit called Eyes Wide Open NENY, Inc.

The Mission of Eyes Wide Open is to give hope and healing to women and girls who are victims/survivors of human trafficking in the Capital District.

Check us out on Facebook and Website: www.eyeswideopenneny.org.

Over the past 6 months we have met with wonderful people who share the vision of Eyes Wide Open. Debbie has been invited to speak about this issue at many area venues and I have displayed my art work and read my poetry. The following pieces I wrote illustrate the plight of trafficked girls everywhere.

Violinist

I love my violin.

I practice and practice

after school each day.

I dream of being

a concert violinist

in a long white dress,

my hair swept up and back

into a silver chignon

with silver high-heeled shoes to match.

My brother is at the piano

and we imagine ourselves

playing in Vienna.,

the Barcarolle from

Tales of Hoffmann,

A soloist at our side.

 

Of course, not now

but after the war.

After the Nazis leave,

after we reclaim my violin,

hidden away for safe-keeping,

and his piano

my parents had to leave behind

when we children left for England

away from the coming horror

and they were forced to live

in another German town

and could not take

their things.

 

But we will come back

and play music again,

Won’t we?

 

After the war…..

Always after……

Yellow Star

It is September 30, 1936

I am 12 years old today.
I have received a yellow star pin

for my accomplishments in gymnastics.

 

I am proud to wear it.

 

It is April, 1937

We hear about a new law

declared by the Nazis that soon

all Jewish people

must sew a yellow star

on their clothing

for everyone to see.

 

 

This is not a good thing.

 

It has not happened in our

part of Germany yet

but we hear it is coming to us

from east to west.

 

I hide my yellow star pin.

 

It means something different now.

Fortunate One

Everyone says I am fortunate.

“Lucky,” they say.

“You were lucky.”

“You got away when others did not.”

“You and your brother escaped

The Nazi terrors.”

“You were so lucky

to be sent to England

to live where it was safe.”

 

Was it luck that put me, a Jewish girl,

   in Mainz Germany on

      Kristallnacht?

Was it luck that only my father

   was arrested and sent to

   Buchenwald?

Was it luck that got me a seat 

   on a train bound for the Dutch coast

   then on to English shores

where Nazi bombs fell day and night?

Was it luck that guided my life for 7 ½ years

   separated from the only life

   I had ever known

        and loved?

 

Yes, maybe I was fortunate

all those years ago.

But, had I not been a Jewish girl 

living in 1939 Nazi Germany  

I would not have needed

all this ‘luck’

for my very

Survival.

 

 

Margot Hanau’s Tale

In April 2015 I had the opportunity to meet and interview Margot Hanau who, as a young girl, survived the Holocaust by being sent to England, along with her brother, by her parents via ‘der Kindertransport.’

She, her parents and brother lived in Mainz Germany during the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazi party before they were able to escape. Margot’s first-hand experiences bring to life this period of darkness that over-swept Europe and threatened the peace of the entire world.

One of the stories Margot told me was how she and her brother Erich played –on violin and piano – the Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffmann in the mid-1930s. So I titled my book “Margot Hanau’s Tale.”

Stories collected on March 28th and 29th 2015 which became the basis for “Margot Hanau’s Tale” written by Margot Hanau and Patricia Carley

“Kindertransport  from Germany to England, 1939”

Margot Jungermann Hanau greets me at the door of her apartment on Long Island, New York. She is a petite lady with soft gray hair framing her sweet face. She takes my hand in hers while looking into my eyes with her own faded blue ones. She welcomes me into her comfortable, spacious living room which overlooks a pond in the middle of her apartment complex.

I wonder, briefly, if anything of her current living arrangements reminds her of her early life in Germany and England. She seems happy to be near the water.

 

As we settle in, I ask Margot a few background questions such as her date of birth; place of birth; parents’ names and occupations. She lists off the answers and soon begins to speak about her life as a Jewish-German girl in the mid-1930s as Hitler and the Nazis begin their rise to power and initiate the systematic elimination of  Jews and other ‘undesirables’. 

Her eyes take on a faraway look as she travels through her memories of nearly 80 years ago. For me this is history I read in a book for school.  For Margot it is but yesterday.

 It is her life story.

 

 Following, is a collection of Margot’s reminiscences  interwoven with historical background  that bring to life ‘Der Kinderstransport’ or the exodus of 10,000 mostly Jewish-German children to England in the early years of what history calls World War II.

More Comfort Books

‘10 Secrets For success and Inner Peace’ is really no secret at all

Give up what I think I know and trust my inner soul

Reading ‘The Tao of Healing’ gave me the strength to roll

With my parents’ and son’s hospital stays

The wisdom of ‘The Tao of Women’ leads me along a different Way

The animals in the ‘Medicine Cards’ are my guiding Spirits each day

As are the wise words written in the ‘Numerology Guide’

What is my fortune today?

 

Comfort Books

Many people have ‘comfort foods’, but I have comfort books. They have helped me get through some difficult times.

 

The ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ watches over me from book and wall

I am reminded by The Giver’ it is a blessing to receive as well

Edna in The Awakening’ becomes a woman true to her inner soul

The ‘Poisonwood Bible’ does not preach but has a riveting tale to tell

Of Africa and American missionaries who become the real ones saved

And, in the end, ‘The Alchemist’ turns into Gold the tattered lives of all.