Walking along the tracks

in Birkenau

and I can't help


but notice 

the sound of chirping birds

as I walk along.

I look over at former barracks

and hear the song.


I can't see the birds

yet I hear their song

and I wonder.


Perhaps this is

the sweet song of innocent victims;

the children who

were never allowed

to live their lives.


I walk into a barrack

and still hear

the chirping

of these invisible birds.


Reaching the crematorium

I notice a field mouse

scurrying through a fence.


Two ponds where once stood


had muskrats lounging

until diving into the water

upon my arrival.


I notice the grass growing

where barracks once stood

and realize that nature

ultimately does return

in spite of man's evil.


There is a moat

with a small stream

and I notice a few fish

swimming in the stream

oblivious to murder 

of innocents

on these very grounds.


A few tears and a smile

confront one another

and I turn to walk

the long path along the tracks

back out to freedom.


Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written on a flight from Munich back home to Philadelphia.  It was an eight hour flight and the movie on board was Father of the Bride II.  As always, I sought refuge with the pen.

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Starward's picture

This is very powerful.

This is very powerful.