How shall you remember me?
As I died...
A bony hand reaching for one last friend
as we are marched
to the final chambers of Buchenwald...
Or as one who once laughed
Falling to the sand
Chasing seagulls on a summer day...
And who later learned to shed a tear for such a long lost love.
And how shall I be known?
As one who perished
with worms eating at pussed rimmed sores,
caught in the spreading net of the pox plague
too weak to crawl to a fouled dying stream for water.
Or one who felt the caress of a lovers hand on my breast?
Who kissed the wind
and knew what it was to ride the wings of an eagle
and watch the miracle of life and birth.
And how do you see me?
As one who knew
what it was to nurse a baby with my nipple's milk,
to watch a son grow strong,
and learn to laugh with each stumbling step overcome,
Or is it through
the memory of incineration
at Hiroshima's hellish breath?
Do you know me for my love of poetry,
of words that defy the rhymes of reasoned thought
and yearn for the freedom of transcendent verse.
Or am I known for the nightmare of my sleep
as cold winds shoot through cracked walls
and mortars rain from mountain crests
and my children die in crumbling unfed
And how will I be remembered?
For this threnody of death
or for my song of life?