Photo of a person walking on a path in a forest
Photo by Sergi Kabrera on Unsplash
behind the click


behind my keyboard’s clickety-click the hammering
of my mother’s Gabriele typewriter, Adler Triumph’s
post-war machine, restless, functional (no poetry done
here), her hair piled into a blonde beehive as she glances
over her shoulder at whoever snapped the picture

graceful, a half-smile half-frozen, caught in my father’s
delight, his theft of a moment from work, a break in the
tension to show she is—they are—happy amidst accounts
for each second, each penny, each sigh, demands from
parents, customers, banks, stipulations—behind all calls, all

claims—behind the tangling of type-bars that still
QWERT my left hand inside the age of electronic
touch, behind the 1950s clack-clack clack-clack-clack
of too much to get done and too much to forget—the
steady 1920s whomp-whomp of the printing press

louder

deeper

shaking the Reismann-Grone Haus as the Rheinisch-Westfälische Zeitung rolls out in sheaves
below the office where my grandmother, a teenage girl Friday hoping to catch a chance at
writing her first story, her way into independence, drops asleep onto her desk, the presses
driving lead into her lungs, stealing oxygen from thought, pounding Hitler into minds of

steel barons

workers

mothers

stomping out women’s
dreams of writing women’s
words with boot-clad thud-
thud-thud of marching men.