H
O
M
E

P
O
E
T
R
Y

J
O
H
N

G
U
Z
L
O
W
S
K
I

T
H
E

S
C
R
E
A
M

O
N
L
I
N
E

 

 

Cattle Train to Magdeburg

She still remembers

The long train to Magdeburg
the box cars
bleached gray
by Baltic winters

The rivers and the cities
she had never seen before
and would never see again:
the sacred Vistula
the smoke haunted ruins of Warsaw
the Warta, where horse flesh
met steel and fell

The leather fists
of pale boys
boys her own age
perhaps seventeen
perhaps nineteen
but different convinced
of their godhood
by the cross they wore
different from the one
she knew in Lvov

The long twilight journey
to Magdeburg
four days that became six years
six years that became forty

And always a train of box cars
bleached to Baltic gray

 

©1999 John Guzlowski
Previously published in
Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust,
an anthology of poems about the Nazi Holocaust,
and in Language of Mules, 1999.

Back to John Guzlowski main page

TOPThe ScreamOnline Home Page