All Saints Day, Arles, France 1943

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My great uncle smuggled his daughter
into the home of a Catholic family
to hide from the Nazis, rooms with rosaries

and saintly crowns, a wooden crucifix
nailed to the vestibule wall. She attended school
with the parish girls in her white smock

and leather shoes, a locket with a tiny picture
of her patron saint, Genevieve, and marched
in the All Saints Day parade, clutching her

bouquet of red roses. By ordinance,
the Germans forbid Jews from growing
anything but vegetables in their gardens—

no pristine flowers with romantic names,
only ugly things: potatoes, potatoes,
and more potatoes. Along the flanks of the road,

onlookers opened shutters, as they marched
past the old Jewish section, shattered glass,
houses burnt to cinders, rotting potatoes and turnips

strewn over the ground like intact grenades,
and she kept stabbing her fingers on the thorns,
trying to remember what hurts.