The Gramophone by Mayer Kirsheblatt

From the Green Wallpapered Room 

Before the Holocaust

the artist’s aunt played her gramophone and the neighbors

in the small town of Opatow, Poland came and stood listening

outside her open window to the music of Chopin. The artist and his

family escaped to Canada and years later his daughter encouraged

him to paint his memories growing up Jewish in that small town. 

I live in a small town in upstate New York. There is a house

that sits back from the road, neat, trim, everything in place.

A porch swing painted egg white, a lawn full of zinnias in little

rock gardens, a sidewalk lined with petunias and two perfectly

shaped trees, a maple and an oak, shade the front yard. An American

flag flutters in the breeze along with a huge banner that reads

“Trump.” All over the yard, red, white and blue signs read “Trump/Pence.” 

The painting shows how ordinary the villagers look

how simple the aunt appears, how bright the floral

gramophone, how lovely the green flowered wallpaper.

Is the painting a warning?