By Moya Pacey
His right hand grips the pen
dips in and out of the ink-pot –
marks the sheet of white paper
bold with black character.
I pity them
I gave them the visas
I wish them the best…
On the train, Mother pulls the baby close,
makes room so Grandfather can rest.
Father checks his pocket, pats
the visa safe in his wallet.
Int he darkness outside: no camps
no chimneys or barbed wire fences.
Mother unfastens her coat, loosens
the scarf tight at her throat.
helped Jews leave by issuing them transit visas to Japan.
(‘Sugihara’ was shortlisted for Australian Catholic University Prize 2015 and was first published in Moya’s poetry collection ‘Black Tulips (Recent Works Press, 2017).)
Artwork by Kathryn Lamont.