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WWII Music Box

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She watches the little glass music box
As the ballerina turns, her arms and legs

frozen in a perfect arabesque.
A familiar lullaby flows from the keys,
Shielding her from the danger
The pain
The sorrow
Of a world at war
A country arising
A race in danger
Sleep, my little darling
The promise of a superior breed
The poison gas seeping into the

lungs of a thousand Jews
Rest your head tonight
The square of a man’s mustache
His arm a straight line
As he sends an army of children

into the battle
Sleep, my little baby
The scream of the dying
The blast of the shrapnel
The sift of the ashes as they

settle on your clothes,

your eyelashes

your heart
Sleep ‘til morning light
The pinch of a stomach
The hollows in a face
The eyes of a child without hope
Sleep, my little darling
The mothers calling to their lost children
The children crying for their parents
The fathers, brothers, and uncles

running toward Hitler

and death
Rest your head tonight
The shiver of a million lost souls
The cry of a baby

freezing slowly to death
The wail of her mother

as she pulls the blanket over her face
Sleep, my little baby

Sleep, my little baby
And still she sleeps, watching the little ballerina
Complete her dance
And shield her reflected face
I’ll be with you tonight.





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