Monday, 26 October 2009

Last Waltz in Warsaw


Bright flame against dark bleak boots
Rests a high-heeled red wedge shoe
Dense crowd files past in silence as red shoe comes into view    

Blood red shoe belonged to
a young girl; who was she?
Scarlet shoe, evocative of youth, vitality
                                                                                                        
Was the wearer dancing
on the eve before the train?
Realise as she saw steel gates she'd never dance again?

Did she think it was a shower to cleanse
For personal ablution
Know Hitler's evil Nazis sought the - 'Final Solution?'

Red wedge shoe amongst dull black ones
Grabs fraught crowd's imagination
Staring through plate glass at lost, murdered generation

Survivors helped by loved ones
Survey grim gruesome scene
Memories, never gone, sweet lives that might have been

Sad, silent crowds, eyes brimming
Leave wood huts that house decay
The sun is out, but it feels cold, no words for them to say

They gassed them over there, guide tells
Fire burned all evidence
Arriving every day by train, imprisoned by wired fence

Couldn't burn them fast enough
Cruel SS dug deep pits
Mass inhumane cremation - no choices - just submit

I own some high heeled red wedge shoes
I wear them when I dance
Young owner of these red wedge shoes never had the chance

 To grow old; be free; born just like me
In a democratic nation
Imprisoned, murdered, victims of vile mass extermination

Day trippers board their tour bus
Goodbye Camp Birkenau
Silent, stunned, shocked - as one ask, 'Could this happen now?'





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2 comments:

Maddie Grigg said...

So evocative. So sad. But keep on wearing those red shoes, a little bit of hope in a grey world.
(it reminded me of the child in the red coat in Schindler's List)

Buggles Balham High Road said...

Reminded me of that red coat too Maddie. And Schindler's original factory is in Krakow. Derelict in the Jewish Quarter of the city but left as it is as a tribute.