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TITLE: Juxtaposition
By Deborah Hemstreet
08/19/08
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I've not written any poetry in a really long time... and then this one came... I am sure it needs polished but was wondering if you had ideas...
For those of you who do not know, "Shoah" is the Hebrew term for holocaust.
Dog show fades surreal
into camps and prisoner
commander and commanded
and I think
if it had been me
I would not
have survived.

I am soft, fat,
weak knees, ankles
can't even climb a bunk.
If it had been me
what would I
have done
to survive?

Nibbles, sit!
Queenie, come!
Shadow, heel!
145839 step out...
is it relief or death
which command
let me survive.

It is the arm bands
that throw me -
no yellow star, only
competitors numbers
only dogs, not lives
in a satanic lottery
to survive.

They line up
beside dividing bars.
Masters and dogs walk
past judges
final selection
is it ribbons
or survival?

Smoke, fire, Shoah.
Return to canine odors,
children and 4-H shows
and I beg You Lord -
may they never know
what it means,
to survive.
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