July 7, 2016

A poem by Lynda McKinney Lambert: "Book of Remembrance in Lidice"

Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by Kota Press. It is a book of poetry and short essays Lynda wrote over several years while spending her summers in Salzburg, Austria where she taught a course in writing and art each summer. She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities from Geneva College in western Pennsylvania. Lynda currently authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, art, and faith.

 She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals. Lynda lives with her husband Bob in the Village of Wurtemburg in Western Pennsylvania. They have been married for 55 years. Lynda divides her time between writing and making mixed-media fiber art in her River Road Studio.

"Bronze Memorial for 82 Children Assassinated in Lidice"-Photo from Commons

“Book of Remembrance in Lidice”

In the museum
a Book of Remembrance
records the facts –
names, dates, village.
A Plexiglas box
holds debris –
sand and dirt
human remains.
A basket of flowers on
an embroidered hanky
with lace around the edges
hands clasped in friendship
on a corner of the lace scallop.
with tea colored letters
faded red stamps
written in pencil
A wall for the men
A wall for women
with photos and
Photos of the dead
Eighty-two bronze children stand
In the field beside the path
It’s a secluded place
beneath a solitary pine tree
where chicory frolics with the grass.
I imagine it was such a lovely summer meadow
Clover, Sweet Peas, Dandelion,
Crown Vetch, Queen Anne’s Lace
a large snail in a smooth spiral shell
beneath the silent pine tree.
Zum Gedenhen an die millionen kinder, Die Dem 11. Weltkrieg zum opfer gefallen sind.
In Memoriam – Jahre 1942
The Children of Lidice

Lambert writes: When I wrote my book, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, I included a short historical note about Lidice, Czechoslovakia, to accompany the poem, “Book of Remembrance in Lidice.” Below, I have put those two pieces into this submission for consideration for the July “Freedom” theme.

Each time I think of the word, FREEDOM, my mind drifts back to many summer days when I took my college students there for the day. In our visits during July every summer, my young adult students learned first-hand about past events in this small, quiet village. Most people have never heard of Lidice. The students could see how past events changed the lives of people who lived in this village in just a day’s time. The enemies of freedom throughout the history of our human experience have committed senseless acts of violence against ordinary everyday citizens. Freedom is not permanent; it can be taken away from an entire nation and Lidice is just one small example of this fact.

On June 9, 1942 the village of Lidice had 102 houses and 493 residents. The oldest woman was 88 years. The youngest infant was 2 weeks. There were 14 farms and a mill in the village.

On June 10, the shooting began:

192 men shot dead

7 women shot dead

52 women martyred in the concentration camp

88 children assassinated

Lidice was leveled to the ground. Today, there are 82 bronze sculptures of the children who died.

Note: Preciously published in Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage by Lynda Lambert. Kota Press. 

Lynda McKinney Lambert

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