Perkunas passed through

Perkunas passed through
turning green to rust
and setting down The Neman
leaves whirling to a Joninių sutartinė –
four huddled children sing
for too little bread
praying for summer

Chiune Sugihara

nears two black figures –
an aged rabbi & a boy …

Chiune Sugihara

nears two black figures –
an aged rabbi sending a boy ahead –

‘toda raba, So-ga-heera…’

he passes the boy a case.

‘Call me Sempo’

 

 

 

Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat who used to illegally make transit visas for Polish Jews during WW2 in Lithuania. Perkunas is a Lithuanian tree spirit who turns the seasons. The Neman is a Lithuanian river. Joninių sutartinė is a Lithuanian folk song usually sung at summer solstice. Sempo was Chiune Sugiharas name in Lithuania.

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