The Walk

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We’re rounded off the moving boxes,
like cattle,
they come round with their guns,
they separate us,
the women to one side,
children and elderly people,

My seven-year-old brother is moved to a different group,
they are going to give him a shower,
How kind.
We weren’t born yesterday.
Word travels.
My brother doesn’t know what is going to happen,
he’s excited because he hasn’t had a wash for a while,
It’s best this way.
He can go not afraid, happy and innocent.

And he walks away to his group.

My mother and seventeen-year-old sister are encouraged to move along,
they are going to be put in those deportation trains.
They wear a brave face,
As we cry,
blow kisses,
scream our goodbyes,

As they are forced to walk away.

A soldier asks how old I am.
My father answers that I am sixteen.
All a lie.
I will turn fifteen next month,
but it seems like I am already forty.
I don’t care if he believes the lie,
but it seems that the lie saved my life.

We are walking into the camp.

As I walk through the gates I look up to see the last words in my life.

‘Arbeit macht frei’

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