Warsaw, 1939-1945 // by Emma K. (October 2015)

A six point star upon my coat,
'Jew!' it seems to loudly boast.
It marks me as an enemy,
A danger to humanity.

Shattered glass around my feet,
Diamonds on a ghetto street.
Shards of window in the light,
Reflect the terror of last night.

Midnight roundups, daytime raids,
Lined across a wall, shaking, afraid.
Pistols pointed, bullets fly,
Lifeless eyes stare at the sky.

Thumps of tires, anguished squeals,
Bodies under German wheels.
Soldiers laugh as they take aim,
A sickening target practice game.

Scarce little food, precious water,
Corpse lined streets that make me shudder.
Gunshots thunder through the sky,
All I can do is wonder why.

Begging people on the streets,
Hoping for something to eat.
They're skeletons, all but dead,
Pleading for a slice of bread.

Hunger, Sickness, Death, and Strife,
These and Fear, now part of life.
Broken people, raided shops,
My life is now a ticking clock.

Ghetto walls, thick and tall,
Keep Aryans safe from us all.
For we are Jews, a dreaded name,
Trapped in Hitler's twisted game.

Past barbed wire, I will stare,
As people stroll through sweet spring air.
I try to remember what life was like,
Before the rise of the Third Reich.