Auschwitz Response I

This is my first entry. I traveled with the group but went without headset, I’d been there five time before, I didn’t need commentary. I took notes from which the following submissions come:

“Prayer Shawls”

They hang neatly

striped prayer shawls

worn many times

while reciting Hebrew prayers

the fringes, decorations, embrodery

the trim, frayed

from use

the Shema quoted from heart.

How many prayers were said

while wearing these shawls.

“Braids”

Shuffling through the rooms

visitors hear of

systematic destruction

of tragedy,

pile and piles of hair

burlap sacks filled with hair

cloth and netting are the product

these didn’t affect until the braid

lying just as it is was cut

from the terrified head of the

woman just hours

before her death

her ashes, now scattered,

but her braids remain,

reminding us

never again;

but never never comes

and again keeps coming

again and again,

Babi Yar,

Auschwitz,

Vukovar,

Srebrenica,

Darfur,

Somalia,

Bishkek,

again and again.

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