Flames, looting, children crying
Houses set on fire, for why?
Didn’t they know I’d miss my parents?
Mom, where are you?
Trains carrying people like me
who haven’t seen sunlight for days
Smells like burning flesh
I’m hungry, but there’s no food
The aroma of black human smoke
seeps from deep-dark graves
where they remove gold fillings and our spirits
I’m just 8 years old
I want to be home with my family
Where are they taking me?
Please don’t take my shoes!
German Shepherds are sniffing
Guards are cracking whips and shooting
Stacked dead bodies in neatly stacked piles
When will I be home, again?
When will I sleep in my bed?
I miss my sister, my mother, my father…
Broken glass is everywhere
My bare feet bleed and ache
Old people praying with rheumy eyes
swaying back and forth and groaning in pain
But I know the pain will be broken
My Rabbi told me so
There’s always an end to things
Bitter as the herbs that we eat
but soon as sweet as the honey cake.
For more on the Holocaust and hope, read my article, From the Concentration Camp to the Butterfly House.