Prose Poem – Anne Frank’s sapling lives here too!

 

I live on Anne Frankstraat, a friend of mine called it Anne Franklaan, but that isn’t right, so I had to correct them, it’s straat you’know, not laan and they accepted it and said I was right, and that’s true and I had never intended to live on a street named after the girl who became a hero although one could call her a martyr or fallen hero, poor Anne Frank, she was locked up most of the war, and almost survived it, then got sent to the camps and just before they were liberated, she died, but she left her diaries, the office manager found them and kept them for Otto, her father, who did return from the war, but why am I telling you all of this, when you all know the story of Anne Frank, who doesn’t know this story nowadays, even the Japanese tourists know it, but I don’t live in The Anne Frankstraat, the one in Amsterdam, instead, I live in the suburbs, we do have a small sapling, a piece from the tree behind Anne’s house, by the way, in Dutch it’s pronounced Anna, the last ‘e’ is an ‘ah’ sound, but that’s besides the point, what’s to the point is our street has quite a few Jewish people, some Israeli, some Dutch Jews, and you might ask – is there a difference and I’d have to say oh yes, a big difference, most certainly, the Dutch Jews survived the war and they came back somehow stronger, richer than before and we Israelis have other issues, we fought wars and kept our enemies at bay but the ones living here, in Holland we don’t want to think about wars any more, we just want a peaceful life, a life without religion, without stress, we love the grassy field across from our houses, where kids play football, and walk their dogs, and once a year we have a neighborhood picnic, we know most of the people on the block, we wave to each other, we hardly have fights, only with one family down the road, and we know each other’s business, who is sick, and who’s getting divorced, but we care, we really do, we help each other, we keep an eye out, we aren’t living on this street for nothing, we’ve learned our lesson, we have.  

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