Since my father-in-law had loved sachertortes,

we went to Café Central and ordered them.


The waitress, long-necked and tall, ash-brown

braids wound in a crown around her head, did


not smile when she took our order, then dallied

before she decided to pick it up and serve us.


The china cups rattled down from her fingers

spilling milky lukewarm coffee into our saucers.


The tortes slid precariously across their plates.

Yes, 60 years after the war, we were still hated.


Our clothes were ordinary. I wore no jewelry,

yet one look and she knew we were Jews.


Leaving the kaffe mit schlag and the sachertorte

untouched, we tossed Euros on the table,


decided despite the Philharmonic, Boys’ Choir,

the Freud Museum, and Stadttempel Synagogue,


we’d pack up our rented Opel now and head

due south to Milan or perhaps to Florence.