by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)
How many times can you see
the broken bodies piled high
at Auschwitz or Bergen-Belsen?
How many times can you stare
into the vacant eyes of prisoners
crammed into three-tiered bunks?
How many times can you cringe
at the frightened people wedged into boxcars?
Apparently there is always room
for one more picture of piled shoes,
pajama-clad skeletons, empty suitcases.
I say this sitting comfortably
at a cafe in a Jewish neighborhood
where I can see a young man
wearing Sandy Koufax’s #32 baseball jersey,
knowing that the world seems safe – for now,
knowing, too, that I do not hear the awful trains
rumbling towards their final destination,
except in a generational memory
never to be ignored or forgotten.
The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years. Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in a new YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy, edited by M. Jerry Weiss.
If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit: http://www.melglenn.com/