Sunday, October 22, 2006

Treblinka Train Blues

I meant to save this one for next Yom Hashoah. But I didn't think I could live with it in my head for that long.

The train passed by, Lord, a hundred fourteen cars.
The train passed on, good Lord, one hundred fourteen cars.
I saw the silent faces, Lord, all behind the iron bars.

A leaf blew past, Lord, a hand reached out through the grille.
A single leaf blew past, a hand reached for it through the grille.
I saw that hand reach out, Lord, I can see it still.

The leaves were red, my Lord, the train was smoky black.
The leaves were red, good Lord, that evil train was black.
May the Lord forgive me, I saw that train and turned my back.


Anonymous said...

beautiful rhythm, i hear the train, haunting

Kimberlee said...

Wow. That is intense.

twitches said...

Interesting, it sounds like an old chain-gang hymn, sort of - an interesting juxtaposition to the subject matter.

I have a poem about Treblinka, too, that I wrote after watching a documentary from the Shoah foundation.

susan said...

Perfect devices for this piece. The rhythm and repetition have an incredible impact here. I must admit I don't know the history, but your poem made me feel the pain and sadness. I'll look for the history. Thanks for the read.

sister AE said...

the blues is a good fit for this topic. yes.