Family Tree

I do not know their faces
Nor the shape of their hopes
Smiles or holy days
Though their names are familiar

Their dead branches whisper to me
Cut off long before I grew
To stretch my own limbs skyward
Drinking in the warmth of life

Pollarded by the Shoah
They were dead wood
Judged and executed
Discarded, pulped

Their elder fruits
Dropped, dried,
Repackaged and distributed
To nourish the living

Old shoes, clothes, handbags
Torahs pulped for toilet paper
To wipe the arse of the aggressor
Marching through ancestral Europe

Kicks supplied on demand
At discount rates
An eye for an eyeful
A bullet for a broken bone

Until I stand here
Weary of remembrance
Sighing in the comfort of
Survivor’s guilt

Read Primo Levi and think of
Stage directions for a ‘war’ film
Complain about my own
Petty frustrations

Knowing we can never again
Afford to plead our ignorance
Of the mechanised
Bestiality of man

8 thoughts on “Family Tree

  1. Wow. Wow. This is very powerful. I too have written a lot about the Holocaust, my grandparents on both sides survived in various ways.

  2. This poem needs to be read. Do you mind if I reblog (or link, if you don’t want to be reblogged)? If you don’t want me to I understand, that’s OK. I just think this poem really needs to be read. This is a really good poem.

  3. Pingback: This Poem Needs To Be Read | Scriptor Obscura Writes

  4. An art piece worthy of fine praise….thank you for sharing such an in-depth and rare piece of yourself! I search the web daily for new and fresh poets or poems that hold that virtuous quality that you so easily possess. HOT DAMN!!!!

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