The survivors try to forget the rubble
of lives decimated by the holocaust,
that burnt offering floating upwards
to the gods of unanswered prayers.
The survivors remember the beauties,
brilliant ones, those valiant, generous.
What remains are stabbing thoughts:
Why them? Why not me? What now?
At the camps, survivors, and others, see
the debasement, depravity, desecration, feel
the weight of eternal stillness. Can they hear
the birdsongs, the sounds of spring?
Until then, the past must be remembered.
Until then, it is enough to say,
I was here.
I was here. I saw. I know this to be true.
NOTE: Influenced by the film, Colette, by Alice Doyaard & Anthony Giacchio; awarded an Oscar in 2021 for Best Documentary Short.
Published on the occasion of the site's 23rd Annual Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day by Poetry Super Highway