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Despite the difficult subject matter this poem was easy to write having read and watched a lot about the Holocaust, a part of our history that crawled under my skin and remains there. It is a horror of such magnitude it is hard to believe it ever happened, unfathomable that people were capable of inflicting such pain and devastation on others. But yet it did, and I wonder if we have actually learned anything from it at all.

Holocaust chamber

Whoosh

They queue,

flesh hangers for rags

in silence they stand.

Move it.

On weak legs they shuffle,

arthritic movements

on those too young to know.

At the front someone falls,

yelps at a crack

hands clamber over hands.

Get up.

A shiny boot kicks out,

mud and blood

cling to lace.

Up ahead a door opens

metal jaws

belching death.

Get in.

Bodies move,

small steps in tattered feet

filling the space with faces.

Jaws close and lock,

old cling to young

weak embrace weaker.

Turn it on.

Sounds seep.

A hiss.

A whoosh.

Screams turn to sobs

a room of echoes

mumbling with prayers.

Quiet.

The strongest fight

clamber for air

over a pyramid of their own.

Outside a truck growls

in wait

for silence.

No hiss.

No whoosh.

No queue.

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