Monday, August 13, 2012

Neither Jew Nor Gentile

There is neither Jew nor Gentile
There is neither slave nor free
There is no male and female
For you are all one in 
Christ Jesus
Galatians 3:28

The cattle car
Lurches to a sudden stop
Sunlight pours in
Through the cracks
In the box car’s planking
Packed in
Like sardines
So closely packed
That none
Can sit
Despite hours of
With no water
No food
No place to toilet
Save standing in place
Some have even died
On their feet
Too closely packed
To fall down

We can hear the Germans
Shouting orders and
We can hear the incessant
Of their
German Shepherd dogs
(A most remarkable and loyal breed)

The doors are unlocked
And flung open
And all is sunlight
And dirt
And dust
And we are blinded
By the light

The children are screaming
And who can blame them
For this is no place for children
This is Hell
We all know instinctively
That we have all been sent
To German Hell!

Raus!! Raus!!
Bark the SS guards
All dressed in black
With their death head insignias
Prominently displayed on their hats
Lest we mistake them
For angels of mercy
But we do not mistake them
For we know them only too well
We know who they really are

They have only
One job to do
They are here
To kill as many Jews
As they can
In as short a time
As they can
So we do not mistake them
For angels of mercy

The cars are rapidly emptied
The guard’s cattle prods
Make sure of that
All is chaos and
All is despair
All hope is gone
Last stop
End of the line

Men to the right!
Women and children to the left!
It is called
All baggage
Are to be
Left behind

Some of those
Who are still
Able bodied
Might be
Temporarily spared
Only to be starved and
Worked to death
While the sick and the lame
Are sent directly
To the waiting gas chambers
And to the ever burning ovens

Families are separated
The terrified children
Cling to their mothers
For safety
Except that
There is no safety
To be had

The lines stretch
For as far
As the eye can see

Reads the sign on the iron gate

Philadelphia, Pa. 2012

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