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A Hundred Gourds 3:2 March 2014

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Alexander Jankiewicz - UAE


Arbeit Macht Frei


I’m standing outside the crematorium with my younger cousin, not understanding why children are playing here of all places. I feel as though they’re trying to tell me something. While fighting to hold back tears, I want to vomit . . . but can’t . . . it would be too embarrassing. There is the feeling of needing to leave. Turning my back to my cousin so that he can’t see my lips moving, I whisper to the children and then wipe the tears building up in my eyes. After turning around to face him again, there is a strong urge to say something, but I don’t know what to say. As we're walking out past the gate and under the sign to get back to Oświęcim, I look up to read the lie one last time. I shake my head in disbelief and turn around to see if I can feel the children once more. They’re gone.

memories
never meant to be
reminding
not to be forgotten
shadows of the past



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