Song of Strength

April 19, 2018
By miren_pino SILVER, Idyllwild, California
miren_pino SILVER, Idyllwild, California
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam,
Blessed are you, lord our god, king of the universe,
I repeated after my dear mother.
It is a song of strength, she promised.
Our god will carry us through all, she reassured.
Her soft lips layed a loving kiss upon my forehead,
She whispered into the sage candle,
Darkening my small, sheltered room.
A soft fiery glow beckoned me to the windows,
But I knew I couldn't move at this hour without exploiting my family.
I couldn't make the mistake.

I walked quickly to school with my younger brother.
We looked down to our feet, ignoring the cold, starving beggers,
That lined the street.
To my surprise the school was closed,
Raided by angry soldiers,
Blaming us for their loss.
We hurried home,
Through the cold,
Hand in hand.
We stopped at our fathers small shop, anxious to be home and safe.
The soldiers had beat us there,
My father's shop was destroyed by hatred.
All that was left was a small sign that read our family prayer,
Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam,
Blessed are you, lord our god, king of the universe.
Covered by a swastika in blood red paint.

¨Father is okay,” My mother reassured,
But as two years went by I couldn´t be sure.
I heard whispers of leaving through the walls of our hiding place.
I was desperate to leave this dark shelter.
To taste sweets,
To taste fruit,
Things once so normal were so distant now.
When I slept I dreamt of sunshine,
Of pure water,
And of finally not being afraid.
Yet I awoke to loud crashes, evil laughs, and quiet screams of our people,
Of my people.
I needed to escape.

My restlessness became me.
On one quiet night, I peaked out the window,
Terribly afraid of the horrors I would see.
Yet I saw nothing,
Nothing but a single handsome soldier, laughing at a book in his hand.
The freezing streets of Poland beneath him.
Harmless.
Brainwashed.
I stepped onto the crackling old wood floors under my bed,
I bravely made my way to the escape door.
Shutting it quietly behind me.
I could smell freedom.
I could taste the happiness and warmth of the outside world.
I ignored my families warnings of the perrish and brutality as I ran down the stairs,
Outside,
Into the street.
From the apartment above I never noticed the posters,
Plastered here and there and everywhere around me.
The recognizable radiant red swastika stood out,
Like a rose in a field of weeds.
As I approached the poster slowly,
I noticed the soldier on the corner of the street was now accompanied by three more,
Silently watching.
The soldiers didn't seem as harmless now,
Feet away, watching me in the cold.

My foolishness gave away my family,
I wish I took my mother´s warning into consideration.
But as a child,
I believed all people were good.
I believe my father was alive.
I believe my religion was a great thing.
Yet,
They watched me run home,
They followed me inside,
They burned my aunt´s and uncle´s alive.
The grabbed my brother and I,
Threw us on a train,
And separated us from my mother.
Now as we are on a cold dark train,
Surrounded by the dark faces of those who have perished,
Lacking food and daily resources.
I sing and pray.
Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam
Blessed are you, lord our god, king of the universe.
Our god will carry us through all.

The light from outside shone as if I was feet away from the sun.
The four nights traveling felt like four years.
I was grabbed by a soldier,
Thrown to my feet.
I called for my brother,
But there was no answer.
His silent body was carried away,
The rest of us herded through the tall iron gates.
I closed my eyes,
My mind was blank.
My nose burned from the sour smell of death.
I whispered,
Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam
Blessed are you, lord our god, king of the universe.



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