The Jewish Ghetto Burned
Sarah stood beside the train
as the Jewish ghetto burned
Her entire family had perished there
that was all that she had learned.
An acrid smoke filled her lungs
water streamed from her saddened eyes
She wondered then, why they had believed
those, terrible German lies.
They told her a new life awaited them
“just get on the train” they said.
And so she stood in tattered clothes
now her whole family was dead.
She took her place in the train
standing next to a weeping man
with nothing to eat or drink all day
no need to use their ‘can’.
The air around them grew hot and moist
a child began to cry
a woman softly murmured
“we’re all about to die!”
“Nonsense” said one, an elder,
“they told us we go to work”
But Sarah knew the truth that,
the world had gone berserk.
She told herself she would escape
as soon as she saw a chance.
For after all, she was so young,
had not even tasted romance.
Her life would not end here
she silently gave a vow
she would not let them take her life
she would live, somehow.
The train stopped and the door opened
and sunlight streamed onto her face
She smelled smoke, a fire of hate,
and knew the devil lived in this place.
She walked forward like the others
but held her head up high
It was her arrogance the selectors said
that determined that she must die.
She walked along a dusty path
with others both strong and frail
She watched for a way to run
before she entered the devil’s jail.
She stripped down with the others
and waited for the water to start.
But only smelled an acrid gas
that invaded her beating heart.
The cries rang out, they started to run
but there was nowhere for them to go.
They climbed on top of the falling bodies
of people they didn’t know.
Sarah stood in the corner, alone,
not frightened at all now.
She would find another way
to keep her silent vow.
She cupped her hands over her mouth
and scuttled behind the door.
She breathed into a crack in the wall
until the last body fell to the floor.
The door opened and a man walked in
not seeing the girl standing there
she snuck out when they were busy
cutting off the dead women’s hair.
Into the woods she ran,
naked and painfully thin
She hoped that she would find someone
that would kindly take her in.
She wandered in the woods for days
eating leaves to stay alive
She drank the dew from the morning grass
and prayed that she would survive.
After a week, she grew so weary
and began to think that she would die
but that’s when she found the peasant’s hut
abandoned, but warm and dry.
She dressed in an old blanket,
ate squirrels she caught at night
she drank from the well at the back of the hut
living each day in mortal fright.
Time passed, she lost count of the days.
Until she heard the sounds of war.
So she cautiously crept to the top of a hill
when she could stay hidden no more.
The war was over, the prisoners freed!
Sarah fell to the ground and cried.
She wept for all the millions who,
had needlessly suffered and died.
Today Sarah tells her story
not holding back the tears.
She tells of the terrible thing
that awakens her hidden fears.
She says she prays every night
that a lesson has been learned
That man will never repeat the horror
of the night the Jewish ghetto burned.