Teaching the Holocaust

Written after teaching a fifth grade class about the Holocaust.

They wanted to know,
so I came,
took them by the hand
and led them down
to the shore.

“There is no gear
here to wear,” I said.
“Here we walk out
til the water is
to our necks,
then we
take deep breaths
and go under.
We keep our eyes open
though what we see
will sting them.
In this abyss of red
we will tread hard
with arms and legs
strong from youth.
We will listen
for the earth’s
groaning as we swim,
and feel the waves of
her weariness
as our own lungs
are crushed in the
chambers of history.”

© 2/27/97, Lois E. Olena

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