Behind the Monastery

Written in the midst of typing a survivor’s testimony.
My fingers did freeze, and I couldn’t go on until I wrote about this.

My fingers froze today
when I stood in the rain
behind a Polish monastery—
arms heavy, shaking with fear
and my allowed bundle.

The light from the candles
of my warm home
followed after me
like long shadows chasing,
crying for my return.
Front door agape
gentile rape
trucks at the gate
goyische ants in a long line
carrying off 600 years of history,
tucking it lustily into their
conscience-seared pockets.

Bone wet
I watch
as Council members
under rifle
dig obediently
and the earth opens up
to swallow my rabbi
and his sons.

Mach schnell! I hear in my nightmare...

and as I turn to leave,
I notice that the earth still moves
where they buried my heart.

© 12/11/96, Lois E. Olena

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