Piroska was born in Switzerland to a Swiss mother and a Hungarian father, with whom she moved to Canada as a child. She was a stay-at-home mother and housewife, and now as an ’empty-nester’ is exploring her creative side.
Being an immigrant to Canada changed my life, even though I was young when we moved. My dad’s perception of “us vs. them” came up often – in his eyes, European was often ‘better’. He looked down on his neighbours. Maybe it was his way of compensating for what he thought he lacked.
First Days in Vancouver
I could feel my mother’s sadness–
it filled the room like a thick fog.
I stared out the hotel window
and saw nothing but gloom and grey;
the rain ran in rivulets down the pane,
like the tears on my mother’s face.
Vancouver was an ugly city,
to my five-year old eyes.
The buildings were huge concrete monsters,
and the constant sounds terrified me.
Horns beeped incessantly; police sirens shrieked.
The sound of people rushing about–
the buzzing of busy-ness.
My parents would take us for walks,
but it was hard not to get soaked,
dodging huge puddles,
and I couldn’t get the stench
of worms out of my head.
I wanted to hear the pealing of church bells,
feel the rounded cobblestones
beneath my feet.
I missed the green meadows,
and going for walks with my granny.
my old life.