A poem that tells a family history

Hello dear friends. I am sharing this work as it had a profound effect on me. The poet weaves her words into an emotional story. This poem tells of a beautiful lady on an intriguing journey. Can you guess the mother’s occupation, nationality and her journey?

My Mother’s Dress

Hamburg was stitched

Into my mother’s dress;

Long hours of labour

Sighed in the seams.


And grace trickled down

Through the pleats and the tucks,

Whilst sorrow was stashed

In the hem of the skirt.


Laughter sprang out

With the fall of the sleeves,

And the lace in the bodice

Whispered of dreams.


The dress rose gently

And danced to a tune,

It swirled and it swayed

With the song of the day.


Over the waters,

Folded and flat,

It shook out its creases

With London’s broad Map.


It tumbled and crashed

With the washing of time,

‘Till sorrow unstitched,

And it sank to the ground.© copyright Jeannette Collette 2018


Let me know what you think. I will reveal all later. Kindest regards  Margaret

Picture: family photo of Emma Zena Lossl nee Heitmann circa 1935




5 thoughts on “A poem that tells a family history

    1. Thank you Deborah. My sister wrote the poem, I will tell her how much you enjoyed it. I know she will be thrilled. You have made a very good guess, but the truth is even more complicated. The poem is about our amazing mother, Emma Zena Lossl. You can read her story in my book, Betweenwhiles: A family between two wars-a true story of rebellion against Nazism (Amazon). Thank you so much for commenting. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.


  1. My guess, she was a Jewess who suffered loss and managed to escape Germany during the Holocaust? Sounds like a possible promise of love in her new country, as time unfolded, she was able to heal, and left this earth without the pain from the scars she bore. It was a beautifully written piece. The words painted vibrant pictures in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your poetic comment. The Poem is about Emma Lossl nee Heitmann, my mother. Her story is told in my book, Betweenwhiles: A family between two wars-a true story of rebellion against Nazism.(Amazon). While my family are not Jewish, my mother and grandmother, endeavoured to help Jewish families. They lived in Hamburg, and aided families escape via the British Seamen’s Mission. I hope you read my book. It is an amazing story. Mum did die in peace in 2008, having lived through both World Wars. Yet she was always full of fun and joy, and always looking to help everyone she could. Wishing you all the best.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s