This poignant poem was written by Teresa Harrison-Best to honour the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The poem is about an individual and not political ideology. Sadly some of the sentiment can easily be applied to more recent conflicts across the globe.
He sits and looks at a photograph
of a woman with beautiful hair.
Her eyes are soft and maternal,
with a beauty he wouldn’t compare.
As he studies the photo more closely
large tears appear in his eyes.
Recalling his childhood in memories
he breaths with a series of sighs.
She taught him to love and to value
never to hate or detest.
Live life to full with great gusto
follow dreams like a breath-taking quest.
Laughter was what he remembered,
a childhood as warm as the sun.
Neighbours and friends from all cultures,
cordially living as one.
Their life was suddenly shattered,
aspirations were crushed like a bug.
Freedom exchanged for oppression
and prejudice spread like a drug.
His mother was dragged from his clutches
pushed with the butt of a gun.
He watched as she fell in the puddle,
the horror for them had begun.
The stench in the train was abhorrent,
a mixture of fear with the sweat.
Sadly their plight was not over,
the nightmare was still to come yet!
Frightened, cold and bewildered,
bodies now shaking with fear.
Thrown to the ground without question,
their fate becoming more clear.
He never again saw his mother,
she vanished from view as he cried.
What she taught him would have far more meaning,
her wisdom was what he applied.
As he looks at her beautiful image
his forearm now comes into view.
The world may know what had happened
but not what they all had gone through
ARBEIT MACT FREI
“Work sets you free” Auschwitz.
Teresa H-B would love your feedback, please leave your comments below:
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