Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Place a Pebble

Place a pebble on a gravestone and remember
6 million individual holocausts
1 Holocaust of 6 million
For every life taken on the journey
add another
For every life given to protect the weak and innocent
add another

For the few soldiers who said
"I won't"
And died add one more

One more
For all who survive with the pain of memories
For those who cannot take a train journey or a shower
Visit a doctor
Hear a door bang
Or a 100 thousand daily mediocrities without being jolted
back to hell

For those who perpetuated the evil
and felt remorse

For those who still believe that what
they did was right

For those who could remain un-
touched by what they saw

For standers-by unwilling to speak
out when it began

For those whose love of God
grew stronger
And faith remained a strength
to those around them
For those who were the Face of
God to others
For those whose faith was
weakened or destroyed
For those who felt abandoned
For those to whom God is dead

For the pain of separation
Broken bands of selection
Terror and calmness
and acceptance

For those who starved
and thirsted yet shared
their meagre scraps with

For the Judas who sold a Jew
A gay, a communist, a Roma
A brain damaged child,
For goodwill, bread or freedom,
Place a pebble and remember.

-Rev. Maria Shepherdson
From Both Sides Now: Poems for the Journey -- Auschwitz to Palestine

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