Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)
TITLE: The Three Million
By Virginia Lee Bliss
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Alone I am, without a guide.
Around me ghosts of those who died.
“You’re home at last, my son!” they cried.
From whispers through the trees I hear
The voices that I hold so dear.
The fir trees help to bring a tear.
The birches speak of yesteryear.
Nine hundred years, three million souls.
The people of the ancient scrolls
Called Poland home until the tolls
Of bells brought death on grassy knolls.
In Lublin pastures, lilies wave
In breezes singing of the brave.
Of those who gave their lives to save,
Now lie within a shallow grave.
In Sandomierz high on a hill
I listen to the robin’s trill.
My family home I long to fill
With hope---but how can I instill?
On Krakow’s cobblestones I tread
The path that to my home once led.
I ask a passerby who said,
“That house is now a morgue, instead.”
To Esther Street I venture back.
Where once a figure dressed in black
Walked merrily with trader’s pack,
Stands in his place a hollow plaque.
But wait! I hear a Klezmer band.
A violinist, bow in hand;
A clarinet with music stand.
A merry tune they play unplanned.
And then to my profound surprise
A sight before me does arise.
A synagogue before my eyes,
And at the door a rabbi wise.
“Please tell me, Rabbi, can it be
“That those who once were forced to flee,
“May now return, that we may see
“Them live here happy, safe, and free?”
“Oh yes, my son, I feel it’s true,
“The People of the Book who flew
“From Poland will return anew.
“Once more the Promised Land we knew.”
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This poem is dedicated to the memory of the three million Polish Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
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