Background – my mother worked with a Polish man Mikail Jaszczyn from the Polish part of Ukraine, from which they fled during WWII. The German army had his family home first, and then a Russian major or some other high rank.
Every year around this time they send on some communion that was sent to them by their family from the now Ukraine, the communion that united them with their blood back home they shared with us as friends.
This year, with the Russian invasion, its an even more poignant memory.
The envelope dropped on our hall floor
The package from America arrived, bringing smiles
But it was not clothes, but something more dear
Of a friendship unbroken by time and miles.
Inside a letter, as there always was
As friends send in the post
And also, broken in communion was
A Ukrainian Polish Catholic host.
Sent by friends who lost their lands
First to Germans, then a Soviet major now did live
In their homes from where to America they fled
Who betrayed their land which they did not forgive.
The last of their familied who lived under Soviet rule
Posted to them, the Atlantic wide,
Which what they posted to us crossed back again,
As if we all shared it sitting side by side.
There, my parents, who rarely went to church,
Gave to me, bemused, as a child of maybe eight:
They shared the communion wafer with us
A sacred bond of friendship and faith.