The Archivist

I wrote this poem six years after beginning my transcription work with the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive, in response to being a part of this important historical effort. One day as I looked down at the keys on my keyboard, the act of typing this story seemed to me like playing a song on a piano.

Note by note
I type the awful history
of the victims of the
Third Reich.
like dirt under my fingernails
plays out through my soft, safe digits;
haunting violin tones
fade away as the next song begins
soft chords
rock me, caress me...
rock me, sway me...
side to side
like a cattle car fading into the distance.
What is this caught in my throat?
     raw potatoes?
     black bread?
No matter;
move on, they’re waiting.
Hurry, finish.
Pay your bills.
Feed your face.
Play your PC piano
until weariness from the death march
lays you gently in the snow
for your afternoon nap
and you dream
that the knock on your door
is the UPS man
come to take you away.

© 11/9/96, Lois E. Olena


About Lois Olena :: Contact :: Links :: Bibliography :: Articles :: Holocaust Poetry :: Judaica Poetry :: Home Page

Website © Copyright 2004- Lois E. Olena & Keystrokes