Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes a bit after last week’s, It’s now the second day of Rosh Hashanah 1945, and Csilla is very eager to perform tashlich, a ceremony symbolically casting off sins by throwing breadcrumbs or fish food into a body of water.
Most of her friends have no interest in it, but there are some takers. Their gracious host, Mrs. Goldmark, volunteers some of the fish food she recovered when she returned to her old house after the war. None of the fish in her family’s pond had survived, though she took the food in expectation of someday having another fishpond.
Before leaving, Csilla asks once more if anyone else wants to come. She’s not expecting Mrs. Goldmark’s oldest son Imre to take up the invitation.
Imre put down Attila József’s Bear Dance poems. “May I tag along?”
“The more the merrier.” Mrs. Goldmark smiled at Csilla. “It’s never a bad thing to take along more than one man for protection.”
“What do I need a man for protection for when I’m gotten along pretty damn well without any men to protect me for so long? Even if there’d been no war, I’m more tomboyish than Eszti.”
“Soviet soldiers won’t care how tomboyish you are,” Artur said. “All they care is that you’re a woman. You can’t argue you’re tall and strong enough to fight off some big burly soldier, even if you are taller than most women.”
Attila József (József Attila in the Hungarian name order) was one of Hungary’s greatest national poets. He wrote a lot of deeply passionate and romantic poetry, along with poems expressing a yearning for a loving maternal figure. Imre is crazy about him, and later quotes from his famous poem “Ode” in a love letter to Csilla.