Holocaust Up Close

By  | September 24, 2011 | Filed under: Poetry

Standing in line in the cold of the dawn, their baby held close to his chest.
He managed to stifle the start of a yawn, he wore only trousers and vest.

In front … about of them stood two hundred or more, they slowly shuffled along.
He was small and felt weak and his body was sore, but his mind was active and strong.

Behind them another five hundred about, all Jews brought from far and from wide,
and now they’d been told with a kick and a shout, that they’d be well cared for inside.

They entered the wire and stood bleary eyed, surveying the desolate scene.
The mother reached for the baby that cried, and wiped its bottom clean.

A rough arm grabbed them and pulled them apart, and hustled them off to a shed.
The woman felt an ache in her heart, as she noticed her baby had bled.

As the door was slammed shut, they sat on the floor, there was nothing else for to do.
Packed into the shed two hundred or more, from dead silence a chattering grew.

For three days they were left without food or drink, their baby continually cried.
With everyone’s filth no one noticed the stink, from the few that had lain down and died.

The bolts being drawn wide, the doors opened with zest, he lifted his wife to her feet.
The baby still suckling her barren breast, now bleeding and sore at the teat.

Blinking their eyes with the brightness of day, they were herded across the yard.
The husband whispered for his wife to pray, the ground was frozen and hard.

A jackbooted man, a cruel smile on his face, told them they were to be clean,
their bodies, he said were a total disgrace, this had their punishment been.

With the thought of a shower, such immense relief, they immediately quickened their tread,
and entered the bunker in the firm belief, that there was not so much for to dread.

The door was slammed shut with an echoing boom, all adjusted their eyes to the light.
This was no shower but a concrete clad tomb, each one of them shivered in fright.

Looking above he could just see the sky, through a pipe from whence came a draught,
he lifted the baby which gave a weak cry, as he wedged it tight up the shaft.

At the first smell of gas in a last bid for life, screaming they tore at the door,
but our brave little man put his arms round his wife, and together lay down on the floor.

He whispered once more to her of their love, and put his hands on her head.
He could just hear the cries of their baby above, and very soon they were dead.

Just the next day the Nazis moved out, that night the Allies moved in.
No living soul could answer their shout, only a crying so thin.

Twenty years later a Jewish boy stood, surveying the still desolate scene.
His heart was yearning and as heavy as wood, as he prayed where his parents had been.

FromĀ rockpoetry.co.uk

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