The trains seemed to moved only in one direction to Belzec
Eerily empty on the way back, no one returned from there..
Belzec , even the name rings of horror and desecration.
Should not be allowed to be uttered aloud
banned from memory. Burned to the ground. Erased.
A group of us escaped to avoid the deportation order
with a three year old child, another mother was
inconsolable wanting to turn back for hers.
At day we hid in the forest and walked on moonless nights
We reached the border and paid an Ukrainian farmer to hide us.
But Ignatz, the three year old would not be quieted.
One day he escaped our vigilance, too restless to be contained
he ran free into the fields of tall grass with frenzied joy
and chased the geese and gathered poppies red.
The farmer warned us, said he could not hide us with
that child who endangered us all.
More fear descended on our daily dose of fear.
His father a gentle man, said what we did not dared.
“He will have to die to spare us all .We are doctors and know ,
where to press to extinguish life without pain”.
Even the mother was silent, distracted with
the enormity of what was contemplated.
Then loving hands encircled his little neck
and without a sound it broke like a stem.
The realisation of our complicity silenced us .
Someone not certain if it was I, finally said:
“We stopped being human then.”
I sing of you Ignatz this day
And of your life, sacrificed for so little.
Not even as Isaac to propitiate a god but spared.
Simply for being a child, and like children all
compelled to play and seek the light of day.