Thursday, August 9, 2012


by Mike Foldes

My new family exists in cyberspace.
They are not Facebook friends,
Or acquaintances I manage on MySpace,
But the genetic links a cousin
in London who has no children
of her own discovered in her search
for a longer lifeline.
Except for Aunt Betty and Uncle Don,
and their three children, we lost touch
with my mother’s side long ago.
After my grandparents and great uncle
Died one after another in the early ‘50s,
Two cousins in London and another
In Alabama were all we thought
Remained on my father’s side –
But for one who was said to have come
to New Jersey in the ‘30s
and made a fortune as a profiteer.
Until this chain of strangers
Came to be, that is.
I’d not recognize any of them
were we to pass one another
walking our dogs on a quiet street,
even if we stopped to chat a bit
about pets, politics or the weather.
I went with my son to the Holocaust Museum
In Washington a few years ago
And discovered the Hungarian town “Foldes”
Was one of several on the map
Of “disappeared” villages, confirming
What I’d always known --
That we are the last of the last.
An Hungarian I met in Greece
Who is from the same industrial city
My father was born in said
he didn’t know there were any Jews
in Miskolc.
“That’s because they died in the camps.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said.
I am, too.
Then the e-mails began arriving
That the childless London cousin
had tracked down the profiteer’s family.
One after another, new names and faces
were added to the tree on Geni.
I watched the leaves grow – and wondered,
“Who are these people?”
“What do they mean to me?”
Really, we have nothing in common.
We did not grow up playing at the beach,
Hunting, fishing, or hiking together.
Our parents did not play pinochle, canasta
Or bridge past midnight, slapping cards
Onto the picnic table at the Brogue camp
On Great Sacandaga Lake.
Our children were not invited
To their birthday parties, nor they
To ours. We did not exchange cards
On holidays, attend weddings,
Break bread at the same table,
Toast our elders on their 80th birthdays,
Share our grief at funerals.
The London cousin catalyzed
A clan whose whereabouts
is bittersweet. Now we share memories
of events that could have happened
but never did, and see the meeting
of parallel lines
That solely exists in cyberspace.


This poem has been published in the print edition of the Patterson Literary Review, Volume 40

Mike Foldes is the founder and managing editor of Ragazine, an online literary magazine.
Join Mike on MySpace & Facebook
Mike is also the author of Sleeping Dogs, A true story of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping
Download at www.Smashwords.Com and www.Amazon.Com
Purchase the paperback at

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