The Red Anemone


The Red Anemone

“Just a red, faded anemone.
But I like the idea that in years to come
I’ll chance upon it again
between these pages. By then
I’ll be a matron
and hold this dried flower in my hand
and say with a touch of sadness:
Look, this is the anemone I wore
on the 55th birthday of the man
who was the greatest friend of my youth.
It was during the third year of the War,
we ate under-the-counter macaroni
and drank real coffee,
on which Liesl got drunk,
all of us in such high spirits,
wondering if the war would be over soon,
and I wore the red anemone in my hair.”

—Etty Hillesum, April 26, 1942


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