Not with my first bite of luscious chocolate or sitting at a terrace watching others drink some 300 beers, the nectar of monks for relentless gray winters. Not in my language class, where I struggled, rules without reason strange guttural sounds broken verbs. Not as I navigated the maze to a laminated card that declared me a resident. Not during rain without end, that threatens to smother the sun. But then broken glass gagging smoke a dark subway tunnel silent, except for the cry of a baby handled by strangers as mother folded stroller filed quietly with others to the exit. In that silence a litany of pain: Waterloo, Ypres, Bastogne, the Ardennes, Leuven twice burned, the Congo not forgotten. And now, fresh scars: the Jewish Museum of Brussels, Molenbeek, Verviers, Zaventem, Maelbeek. There is a silence that always speaks if we listen. In that silence I am Belgium.