NaPoWriMo Day 8

Today’s prompt (which you can read here) asked us to write a monologue in the voice of someone who is dead, remembering some important event or moment.

I turned to some research I did a few years ago (relating to a novel that I have set aside for the time being) to try and tell the story of the Tysketösers: this was the term for Norwegian women who slept with German soldiers during the Second World War and had been denied a special pension ever since as punishment, until 2006 when the decision was at last reversed. Some of them were sent to workcamps after the war for several years. Tyskerunge, which means German brat, was the name given to children of those unions.

Tysketöser

 

Take 1945 from 2006.

I’ll save you the bother.

It’s sixty-one.

 

It’s the same age I was when I died.

 

It’s how long it took those government bastards to pardon us,

give us back the pensions they took away to punish us.

Wouldn’t have cost them much; hardly any of us left.

 

Yes, I slept with the enemy. It kept a roof over my head

and that of my child. He left me Katya, a daughter,

a curse of a half-sister for my son. Her German curls

a pretty blond searchlight, shone us out; me, tysketöser

she, tyskerunge.

 

They can never give us back our strong spines,

fresh skin on our hands. My fingers split every winter

for the rest of my life after five years in that workcamp. After the war.

Bent my bones. Made me ugly. Is that what they wanted?

 

I’d have been 81 in 2006; in my absence,

Katya got £2000 in compensation.

Would that’ve have cut it?

Would it cover her 5632 schooldays of being spat at?

Left lonely in playgrounds’ corners? Slapped harder by teachers

for the same crimes as other kids. Would it cover my son’s

bitter red mists, the ten years he spent here, before me.

 

I don’t keep up

with the cost of living in your world, but I’ll bet

it would not.

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