Remembrance by M.J., a Warsaw ghetto poet (translated by Yala Korwin)
You saw blood of the homeless and innocent.
You heard the voices mocking them.
You saw a beast jumping out of the crowd,
Heard the laugh, looking into living eyes
When smoke enveloped the silence
Of other voices.
You came back to your homeland,
As one comes back to life. You see a flower
Growing in the fertile, too-fertile earth.
Traces of smoke become sky-blue, like a remorse,
The smell of burning disperses,
Even the shadows pale.
In the air – an aroma, like anticipation
Of new growth, of unknown words.
Chestnuts bloom, grasses are busy repairing the web
In the earth’s red wound.
Buds are sticky, water sinks into the bushes
And roars again.
Like tokens of pleasure and strength,
The nightingale raves in thickets of young trees.
Its song rises and bursts like fountains of light
Beating the sky. The earth’s beauty is unfriendly,
More indifferent, than inhuman mass-graves.
And if you become lost in the beauty of words,
As in an unseen face, their clean sound,
Too clean, will b outweighed by a mixture
Of earth and blood.
Today is Yom Hashoah, the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. Pictured above is the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes located in Warsaw, Poland.
This poem was selected by Lesley W. (Head of Adult Services)
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