Heart by Heart

By
More by this author
On a blissful eve in ’43,
The birds are a-singin’ in a peaceful tree,
The world ever so just with sun-kissed skies,
With hidden shadows of trauma in German disguise.

“Das Lied der Deutschen!” an anthem is heard,
A parade of green magets invade the meek earth!
German soil is tarnished and Stars are at stake,
Who new that sweet sunlight could cast storms of fate?

Inscribed in the flesh right down to the bone,
One digit of death in the vilest tone,
Subtract every number, one by one,
Arm by arm, and then there were none.

A madman dictator storming in streets,
Blowing whistles and yelping for victims’ defeats,
Faster! Faster! Spread the lines of prejudice and woe,
Cleaner! Cleaner! Sweep the streets of impurity and foe.

Pathways invaded by police and terror,
Green boots, black pride, gray doom and error,
Down comes David, pride and good will,
Up soars the black X, a symbol to kill!

Inscribed in the flesh right down to the bone,
Two digits of death in the vilest tone,
Subtract every number, one by one,
Wrist by wrist, and then there were none.

Whip them now; free of their rights!
Bulldoze their shops and put up the fight!
Split up their schools! Prohibit their pay!
Capture their cars! Take them away!

Prime targets are fired with despair and dismay,
Houses are crashed with prejudice at play,
The Stars in the sky turn to rust and paper,
A symbol to wear for the mighty green caper.


Inscribed in the flesh right down to the bone,
Three digits of death in the vilest tone,
Subtract every number, one by one,
Hand by hand, and then there were none.

“Off with them now!” Hitler screams in the night,
Mens’ clothing cast to shreds of dark black and white,
Onto the trains, they are kicked like poor rocks,
As seams in the wood bars, light would lock.

In the harsh freezing eve they would fall from the train,
Into Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, and Vught in sheer pain,
“March! March! To your barracks till the broken tomorrow!”
“Die! Die! Till your spirits are drowned with sorrow!”

Inscribed in the flesh right down to the bone,
Four digits of death in the vilest tone,
Subtract every number, one by one,
Leg by leg, and then there were none.

Role call awaits prisoners as the dawn strikes up,
Only revealing Green Police with their vicious Shepard pups,
Naked heads nibbled from lice and bitter cold,
As they stab at the ground and do what their told.

Gun shots at meek men with typhus on turf,
Tight ropes around necks with coughing and curse,
Under the fierce, watchful eyes of the devil’s domination,
Lurks the thirst for labor and sheer discrimination.

Inscribed in the flesh right down to the bone,
Five digits of death in the vilest tone,
Subtract every number, one by one,
Foot by foot, and then there were none.

Two lines separate mothers with children and men,
To march to their death, never ever seen again,
In the chambers and ovens, bodies turn to bleak ash,
Under the moonlight they pray for heaven’s merciful crash.

At night fall, questions haunt the prisoners in pain,
Should we stay? Should we go? Will we be soaked by the rain?
’Round and ’round the escape light draws a deep path,
To the devil’s door, one flees and will never come back.

Inscribed in the flesh right down to the bone,
Six digits of death in the vilest tone,
Subtract every number, one by one,
Shoulder by shoulder, and then there were none.

Starvation stabs stomachs of agony and rut,
Aches, bruises, and torn flesh hang high from cuts,
Even though blood gushes from a hammer’s strict hide,
The one place all are bleeding is deep, deep inside.

As foul stenches spread of bodies stacked like cards,
From the doom and the cruelty of Hitler’s bad guards,
Wonders of why the world could be such an awful, poor place,
Wind around life’s demands and the shriveled prisoners’ brains.

Inscribed in the flesh right down to the bone,
Seven digits of death in the vilest tone,
Subtract every number, one by one,
Bone by bone, and then there were none.

As the end of the war draws to a new year,
Horror dies down, but survivors have fear,
Liberation ends the ticking of a life’s countdown,
Yet, damage still lurks and terror won’t drown.

Day after day in a mirror of history,
We never forget a genocide’s misery,
Where the Holocaust remains in its fatal place,
Nine letters, ten million men, and one master race.

Inscribed in not just the flesh right down to the bone,
But in the mind, in the soul, and in the heart to make known,
Six million digits of death, but a new life to start,
Spirit by spirit, heart by heart.
We will always remember.
We will always remember.





Join the Discussion

This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

kittylover45 said...
Feb. 2, 2012 at 10:28 pm
this was almost amazing.
 
halesdog replied...
Feb. 2, 2012 at 10:31 pm
i really loved this poem and sorry kittylover45 but this poem was AHMAZING
 
janina said...
Jan. 2, 2010 at 5:25 pm
I love this and pretty much everything else you write. It's beautiful and eloquent and paints a realistic picture.
 
Angggggg =D said...
Sept. 16, 2009 at 6:00 pm
Wow. This poem is incredible. Lindsay, I read this poem and felt like I was there. You have an amazing grasp on imagery and you obviously know what you're doing. It was beautiful as well as sad as well as action filled. This poem should definately end up in this magazine. It was vibrant and real and true.
"We will always remember.
We will always remember."
 
RobynG. said...
Aug. 28, 2009 at 12:50 am
Linday, this poem is soooooo amazing! It is written brilliantly, and really captures the emotion of the era, and the terror in the air. It was as though you had actually been there and experienced the adversity yourself. It was very well crafted, and I loved the repetition of "Inscribed in the flesh right down to the bone . . ." The emotions it evokes touches everyone in a very authentic, humanistic way. Absolutely brilliant! Amazing, Lindsay!!!:)
 
RobynG. said...
Aug. 27, 2009 at 1:45 am
Lindsay, that was brilliant! Incredible, really, truly amazing! You described this so well that it was as if you were actually alive at this time and had seen it all yourself. The emotions it evokes, and the sheer humanity of it. Brilliant, and amazing. This is incredible. I loved the repetition of "Inscribed in the flesh right down to the bone . . ." and how beautifully crafted and thought-out the poem was. You wove the poem together like it was a story, and that was so great. Overall, I don... (more »)
 
itsjaysonyo said...
Aug. 23, 2009 at 12:56 am
dudeeee lindsay this is amazing! i seriously wish i could write like one thousandth of how well you do and have the connection of feeling still attached to it. i applaud you =) sincerely, jamieeeeeeee
 
i<3jesus636 said...
Aug. 18, 2009 at 1:14 am
Wow, your writing is amazing! I don't see how this hasn't been in the Teen Ink magazine yet! For me, the holocaust is also the event in history that has impacted me the most. I love the flow of your poem, very serious and on the subject. :)
 
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