For Holocaust Memorial Day


Ash Flower  (after Anselm Keifer)

The dead, who are thinner than gas,
might fit comfortably in their millions
in a simple cardboard box.

So why this desolate hangar?
Ankle-deep in guano and plaster-dust,
quiet as a sick forest –

(was Buchenwald once really a forest?)
Trees, acid-stripped and skeletal,
grow down out of a broken pane of sky.

Why has he painted such a mighty space?
Must we fit in there with them?
The millions whose last words

were a scrabbled cunieform on the inside
of the heavy chamber doors,
thickest where the handle should have been?


One thought on “For Holocaust Memorial Day

  1. When I station in Germany. I saw the death camps In Germany and Poland. Taught me the madness of men. Can’t allow this bad part of history to be forgotten. Forgotten history will be repeated. Powerful and needed words.

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