Poem: Two Girls by Red Haircrow

I wrote this poem, which will be part of my forthcoming poetry collection CORE,  long before I read the search term leading someone to this website, it was, “Red Haircrow’s connection to Nazis?” I have no connection to Nazis. I have, however, been a long time student and researcher regarding pre- and post-WW2 Germany and the Holocaust. Some of the main reasons for that interest I wrote about in a posting, “To Die-A Poem by Hannah Senesh“, a Hungarian Jewess freedom fighter captured, tortured and executed during WW2.

My poem, Two Girls, was written from emotions I experienced while riding a train to Sachsenhausen, to visit the former concentration camp in Oranienburg, a little town north and just outside the city boundaries of Berlin. To view that terrible place reinforced in me a deep, abiding fury to always combat discrimination, racism and inequality, whether it is the aggressive type or passive, even beyond what my own people have experienced. That trip reminded me of the biography I read, “I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The Holocaust.”  Another poem on a similar topic: Conversation With A Former Nazi.

TWO GIRLS

Past the edges of the city,
serpents
lie hidden in the grass,
vagabonds
crouched in the night
lurking just outside the light
slit eyes cut to the doorstep.

Old stations
innocently, evilly
still there,
relics of the past,
their bricks not concussed to dust
glass broken yet not ground to powder
but the people are all gone.

Final freedom came only to those
left after the death march,
the ultimate release
only to those who never
reached the sea,
never reached
the forests.

Be silent, be silent!
Say no more or I’ll kill you!
But nothing else can you do,
it’s in there forever now,
the memories of that girl,
only survivor from my village
in the stinking group of skeletal women.

Newly freed we,
so close to home
I could recognize trees
from the open door of the train car
when the Allied bomb struck
taking only her eyes.
One word she whispered,
empty sockets blackened,
weeping blood,
she whispered, “Mama…”
and died.

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Filed under Germany, Personal Entries, Poetry

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