Another shattered of history.


No Tattoo

Saul saw the rise of the fall
Of the Nazi state
And felt every nail as it entered
The lid on the crate
That contained humanity's corpse.
He disguised his goodbye wave
As an accepted salute.
It was put in its unmarked grave
And the cheering
Covered the sound
Of the scratching
From its new home in the ground.

The chance came for him
To escape to an oversea:
He was offered America
But chose the land over the Dover sea.
The plan was to set up a near-to-them base
For his children and wife
To follow later
And to start a life
Without the smell of burning paper
Or the shatter of glass
Or the stamp of boots
Or the averted eyes as they pass.

Chamberlain's peace wasn't
And Saul saw his family only in photographs.
Six years he worked in silence
In a world of no music, no laughs.

The 1945 cinema newsreels
Showed the camps
Of bones and skin -
On the list to be made into lamps.
Each bulldozer driven
By a stench-masked face
And the grey pathetics rounded up -
The shaken-captured master race.

The Red Cross
Gave the basic information to Saul:
The salvaged master records of the SS
Provided all;
The numbers and the dates
Told cold
And he walked away
As his private bell tolled.

A neighbour from what had been home
Sent a letter:
It gave scant words and no comfort
And made him more a regrettor
Than his guilt
Had already made him.
He knew what he had to do
And no words (though there was no one to offer) could persuade him.

A simple prayer -
And ready to pass:
The police found the body:
Oven open, a choke of gas.

13:25, Thu. 01/03/2012.




Poetry by Mark J. Wood
Read 767 times
Written on 2012-10-29 at 13:55

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countryfog
Incredibly powerful and vividly horrific. I've been to the Warsaw Ghetto, or more accurately to where it was since virtually nothing remains of it but the stories, so many lost now, of the 450,000 who perished there or were sent from there to perish elsewhere. There are at least six million stories like this and so few left now to tell them. We must never forget and need writers like you to ensure we don't.
2012-10-29