13 AUGUST 1994, Page 27

Post-War II

Then I'd rush home at night and look for mail From Europe, via the Red Cross, maybe, To say my parents had been traced, though frail And ill but still alive . . . a dream for me And many others. A sterile make-belief That led to nightmares, split my mind. The days Were filled with slogging work. I buried grief, Hunted for rations, joined banana queues.

Now, looking back from years they never reached, I wonder who she was, this person 'I' Who rushed up the bare stair-boards that we shared With other tenants in the house. I try Pursuing her into our two-roomed flat And will not find that letter on the mat.

Lotte Kramer