I Didn't Say Goodbye


United States
26° 1' 10.9236" N, 80° 10' 54.9372" W

They came at night
Breaking doors and windows
Like they broke my mother’s heart.
We were forced into cattle cars
Crammed together like sardines
In a smelly, dirty, sweltering box.
And then, we reached Auschwitz,
home of the living dead.
We stepped out into the sunlight
Blinded momentarily,
As we stepped through the gates
And left our dreams in the dust.
All our belongings
Were thrown in a pile
Left behind like our memories
Of the former world.
Our clothes, our hair, our dignity
was removed at once.
We worked from dawn ‘til dusk
With the Germans constantly beating us
Like the hot sun beating down on our backs.
I searched everywhere
For an ounce of sympathy
But all I saw
Was cold, hard disgust
In their blue eyes.
They did not see us as humans,
They see us as animals.
My mother and sisters were taken
In the dead of night, again.
I have come to hate the night
Even now.
My father was taken the next day
And as he was led away to another camp
He glanced back, tears streaming down his face.
I had never seen my father cry before.
Sleep and food evaded us
And the strength was sapped from our bones
Insults were pounded into our ears,
Like the bullets pounded into the bodies
Of my brothers
After they were caught trying to escape.
They gave me hope
That I could break free
And so I did.
I ran for days,
Fleeing from the Germans,
But I could not escape
The memories.
One day here,
The next day gone,
And I didn’t say goodbye.


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