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Unmarked Graves

They have seen their fathers and sisters,
Children so frightened they wet themselves,
Soldiers in gray wool standing

In fields also gray,
old men holding babies
Not their own,

Trains, stores, sparrows,
Rows of tombstones, haystacks,
benches, synagogues, trees,

Carousels, real horses
Lying dead on the street of stones,
Ballooning bigger and bigger,

A bus also dead in the street,
A woman in a moment of shame
Asking the way to a church,

An umbrella, a street vendor's cart,
Some horseradishes (who was selling
them,
Where has he gone, was he a Jew, a Pole,

A German from Silesia?)
A door with a broken lock,
One wool cap and then some others,

A quiet man, too shy to look
At the man who paid him
For the paper and smiled,
A large metal pot with dented sides,
A young girl, perhaps twelve,
Who a minute before had been reading

A narrow street, three canes,
Seventy-eight books in a wooden stand,
Most bound in leather, some in paper.

All gone now, gone in flames
And everything else is waiting
For the end of everything else.

 

©1999 John Guzlowski

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