Auschwitz

Brendan Sullivan

I saw you in the ghetto –
with your yellow star,
pulling teeth
and collecting shoes.
And then on the last train
to Birkenau
(or maybe it was Belsen),
hunched in a boxcar
like cows to market,
our shadows old
and unspeakable
as the wheels
broke us down to the floor.
We drank our urine
and told the children
the train was an adventure
that did not need
their tears.

Survival is a funny thing-
not always for the fittest,
and conscience can be

a silent sniper.

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