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Best Holocaust Poems

Below are the all-time best Holocaust poems written by Poets on PoetrySoup. These top poems in list format are the best examples of holocaust poems written by PoetrySoup members

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New Holocaust Poems

Don't stop! The most popular and best Holocaust poems are below this new poems list.

Holocaust Haiku Eight by Ackerman, Stuart
Holocaust Haiku Seven by Ackerman, Stuart
Holocaust Haiku Six by Ackerman, Stuart
Holocaust Haiku Five by Ackerman, Stuart
Holocaust Haiku Four by Ackerman, Stuart
Holocaust Haiku Three by Ackerman, Stuart
Holocaust Haiku Two by Ackerman, Stuart
Holocaust Haiku One by Ackerman, Stuart
Children Of The Holocaust by Smith, Darlene
The Holocaust by Tesfaye, Haile

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The Best Holocaust Poems

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

A Girl From Darfur

I can show you where the brimstone sun has no remorse,
and where devils on horseback, have burned our homes, have pillaged our farms.
A killing spree,   the drum of guns, some tried to flee, but died,... each one.
The screams, I dream! Oh, the cries........the cries....... 
I try to mute the sound of them
For...,  I was there, I hid in fear,  was somehow spared, but now I look for 
something, ...something, ...something, here, ...someone to care.
A bit of food, a bit of shade, such bitter taste is in my mouth
A world of hate. To have no shoes,...a walking ghost.....
a blistered soul, I have no hope....  but nothing, nothing left. 
My eyes are blurred, and fires burn, a heavy world, shouts out despair.

Where are the flowers that used to bloom, where are voices, that once I knew?
There are no flowers here...just flies, in waist-deep dust, and a hot orange sun,
that coughs up sounds of fear and guns, and swords and words against my ears, I 
live in fear with no one here. 
I'm just a girl,  or at least I was....    for just a while.

I was defiled, when found by one
He spared my life, but did not see, I'd rather die than be this girl, who feels the 
shame in being free.
I once had a mother, I once had a father, I once had a brother who made me smile
Where did spirits, lift and go, when the devils on horseback came to kill? Spilling 
blood as if for fun?  For thrill? For what? 
Where were the Gods? Where are the ones who turn their heads?
In desert's dust with blood red crust.  They poisoned our wells, burned out our land, 
ravished and raped, and relished their brand......, 
nomads came, leaving shame, evil and horror came like rain.
Janjaweed, the name, I cannot say... I live with shame, a world, insane
I try to sleep, but I cannot........I can't forget and I am lost, the cost too much,
a swollen tongue and calloused feet,  across a land of bleached white bones
Alone, alone,....lost and done...a vanished one sees me  
There are no flowers, there are no trees, 
Famine as my lone companion, a pool of mud a home to stay,
Life drains out more every day, my belly eyes are parched,
and I can't tell
if I'm alive, or if I'm dead, dried up tears are what I shed....
Where are the flowers for my head? I've been scorned, 
all I have, and all I see is wind and rain, sorrow and pain
thorns, and dust, and a grave, that waits for me

Devils on Horseback – The Darfur genocide (ongoing) The Janjaweed (translated, 
devils on horseback) slaughter and rape the women, men and children of Darfur. As 
of today, 480,000 people have been “exterminated” and 2.8 million displaced.

Let's not turn our heads away from this, or from other atrocities being committed 
throughout the world.

Copyright © Carrie Richards

More great poems below...

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

A Thing of Beauty

Contest: Beautiful Scars

A thing of beauty on her wrist
is confiscated by a nurse
who looks for items soldiers missed
in places (and by means) much worse.

They brand her when she enters camp,
a thing of beauty on her wrist
replaced by Hitler's horrid stamp,
a stinging band below her fist.

They marched her mother through the mist
on to the bath that was her last,
a thing of beauty on HER wrist
gone too, she saw as Mama passed.

Now, she who bears the mark of war
lives free and sees the scar not with
remorse... it's more, at eighty-four...
a thing of beauty on her wrist.


Name: Lycia Harding
Date: 11/23/2015

Copyright © Lycia Harding

Details | Holocaust Poem | |


We are the children
of the Four
A wandering race
The leaves, trees
and streams feed us
The earth, water and
winds sustain us
We belong to no man
A race so
You talk about us
with hushed voices
From behind your
Always looking down
The idea of us so

You don't deserve us
Never looking in our
As though the simple
mention of us will
bring you conflict
Our women so
Seeing them leaves
the vision in your
head for days
So you look away
From our mystical,
regal creatures

As we are the
children of the
forests, rivers and
The snow in the
We have always been
We have always
You gave us our name
It was never your
You called us

You look at us and
see aluminium homes
Your curious eyes
scanning our sites
Picking up on the
old battered cars
Camp fires and dirt
Nomads fighting with
black eyes
Traveling through
these lands

You do not see our
As you are not
children of the air
A race so loyal like
thunder and lighting
Inside our homes
lives a love so vast
and thick
You can scoop it up
and eat it
It feels like candy
Smells like Apple

We a deadly
protective race
Taught from years of
We learnt to only
live with our own
Wandering through
Never having a home

When we burned, fire
was so angry
Our ash turned to
snow flakes
The wind was so
Our ash fluttered
over holy ground
Settled on the
We grew a paradise
Earth was so hurt
you took her
For you paradise
will be forever out
of reach
Teasing you
Just before it's in
your grasp
The ocean washes it
Burning us made
water scream
You had killed the
children of the Four

We don't expect to
be understood
Our wisdom lays too
The Nazis didn't
just kill and
persecute the Jewish
They killed us too
Put your nose in the
Just so 
You can still smell
us on the wind

Copyright © little known nothing

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

A Poet's Apocolypse

After that moment a gray dust covers all Invading the senses, casting a veil of despair The prince of darkness will have his due Oh cry ye fools, of this hell be you aware.... And what of the poets with blood on their pens Huddled in dark corners, trying to understand Making rhymes for only the night wind to read In the end a homage of heart to a beloved land.....

Copyright © Barbara Gorelick

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

Winds near Heschel's Grave

Stark winds blowing across the fields and streets 
The grave of that honorable rabbi is covered with leaves
Very difficult to live up to such piety 
But some grasp that the essence is what must be grasped 
    Instead of the "outer shell"
As I pick up a pen 
   to express myself 
I must tell you 
Fanaticism is not good - not good at all

Copyright © Matthew Anish

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

Brave Conquerors Of Weakened Tribes

Brave Conquerors Of Weakened Tribes

They could never in any great haste
their false glory dare to forsake.
Why abandon that gleam in their eyes
for truth in those sad tomorrows?

Dwell not in that bitter splendor
A victor with a yellow wreath.
In pride hide being a lying pretender
never giving up what fate bequeath!

Restless spirits from vanquished foes
can not invade that haughty parade.
Brave conquerors of weakened tribes
living out a false, arrogant charade.

History now reveals the dishonor disguised.
And tales of false victories cleverly contrived!

Robert J. Lindley, 10-14-2015


In the past, the main thrust of the Holocaust/Genocide Project's magazine, An End To Intolerance, has been the genocides that occurred in history and outside of the United States. Still, what we mustn't forget is that mass killing of Native Americans occurred in our own country. As a result, bigotry and racial discrimination still exist.

"In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue" . . . and made the first contact with the "Indians." For Native Americans, the world after 1492 would never be the same. This date marked the beginning of the long road of persecution and genocide of Native Americans, our indigenous people. Genocide was an important cause of the decline for many tribes.

"By conservative estimates, the population of the United states prior to European contact was greater than 12 million. Four centuries later, the count was reduced by 95% to 237 thousand.

In 1493, when Columbus returned to the Hispaniola, he quickly implemented policies of slavery and mass extermination of the Taino population of the Caribbean. Within three years, five million were dead. Las Casas, the primary historian of the Columbian era, writes of many accounts of the horrors that the Spanish colonists inflicted upon the indigenous population: hanging them en mass, hacking their children into pieces to be used as dog feed, and other horrid cruelties. The works of Las Casas are often omitted from popular American history books and courses because Columbus is considered a hero by many, even today.

Copyright © Robert Lindley

Details | Holocaust Poem | |



Flabbergasted – a swimming head

A cold intrusion

A sullen bed.


Apt delusion

Inept in death

Dyspeptic relation

Cryptic tree

Unjust incarceration

Liberate me.

Copyright © Joel Thornton

Details | Holocaust Poem | |


On a lil busy route,
For a lil dizzy fruit
They're humming everywhere.
In a bulk, unaware

Layer upon layer
Taking concrete up the stair 
burring vanilla skies
Jesus couldn't dare

For no one they will stand
This plane is scared to land
So will crash at the end

From wrinkles to the pinks
All are humming without a blink
stacked themselves by themselves
In the subway named sewers
The sewers, about to sink

Robots of flash they are
Lost its shine, a deformed star
Humming humanoids won't make it far..

                                                -ankit dedha


Copyright © ANKIT DEDHA

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

Light On the Devil's Chord - Day 14

Despite his impatience to show me his hell,
He waited for me in my rest, 
Lying upon the ground, I awoke in prayer,
Thanking God above and asking Him for guidance

“My heart is Yours, always,
From the moment I gave breath,
To the darkened impasses of death
Forever glorifying Your name,
Thanking You for Your kindness,
Your creation, love and power
Your glory, Your victory
Lead me, oh Lord,
So I may not fall short in Your sight
Grant me generously Your Spirit,
And in it, may I exalt only You,
In all these cries, merciful God,
Quiet mine, for I need these eyes to see you,
Through the scorching fires of his heart
To be strong within the fray,
To face, here, the remaining days…”

He smiled ironically,
Amening my prayer, 
Taking my hand once again
“We have explored your light,
Might we venture now through my night?”

I nodded solemnly, and he lifted me from the ground,
His wings mightily beating the hot air
We rose to the maelstrom,
The lights dimming, the darkness working furiously,
The cries louder, and the leviathans larger 

The days you cannot deny,
Shall come as days past,
Though unlike days passed,
These days shall sustain my glory
And lay all hopes to rest
You cannot deny its swelling,
Its shrouding of your light!”

Within the maelstrom we ventured,
The great voices mighty in their misery
Empty eyes stared through the darkness
The light swept aside by his great wings
As we merged further into the hellish hoard
Hissing and spitting, creatures emerged from deeper trenches
Their mouths holding imbeciles and tortured souls,
A pale green horse screamed in the swirl,
His legs kicking through the repugnant, airy waters
I heard men calling, shouting at one another,
Witnessed parched dragons scorching each other,
And greater creatures with teeth jagged,
Worn from the constant gnashing of their teeth
The moans and groans tremored my bones,
Gave genesis to horrors only shown in darkness born

A leviathan, larger than the last arose from the depths,
To meet with our Prince,
Clenching its teeth at the sight of me
With the sweep of his hand, the jaws loosened,
And he motioned me near
Stepping on the back of the creature, 
I focused my gaze to the fading light
And he watched me grieve as the remaining creation
Faded into nothingness

I could hear the demons laugh,
I could smell Death breathing
His stomach swelling with souls
The battles amongst the souls continued
Throats of the deceased eternally retching,
Coughing and kneeling inside the dark,
Their eyes glowing, staring into mine,
Longing for relief, begging with their expanded pupils
Fear hastening, the leviathan swam,
Screeching in its own anguish and suffering
My hands clenched his gnarled horns, 
As my eyes locked with the Devil’s
He was singing, dark and mightily
Triumph and confidence in his every note
Every word, crisp, stinging

“You will see, oh Daughter of Eve,
How very lucky you are
To see, with me, the future not too far
A future embellishing all power
Wilting every flower,
Every petal of your lies 

I will show you, oh woman so fair,
The eve of your purpose,
My purpose, my reign,
When freedom rises
None shall refrain from the cries of their pain,
From the heart-gnawing stench of righteous defeat”

Standing upon the beast,
He roared as silhouettes sprouted from the shadows
Images of men fighting, stomping their strong feet,
Bright trumpets of war sounding,
Deafened even so by the screams of the wounded and dying
Children arose from the ground,
Watching the conquest of their agonies,
Their bony legs quivering,
Fear sopping their flesh
They rose only to fall to the ground,
Reaching for the skies,
But no one came for them
All happiness had come to an end
Humanity was declining,
The horses of war and sickness galloping rampantly
Through all nations, weak and strong
The tough devoured by great beasts,
The feeble strengthened by demons,
Desecrating their innocent bodies
Destroying all that stand unguarded in their path

And the Prince of Darkness arose, 
The pits of Death ascended all about him,
Forming his palace of woe
So that he may watch his glories commence
And beside him formed a Queen of Stone,
Whose hand raised for eons of wreckage,
The pain of the masses arising through every order
Her hair was jagged, long, black, matted,
Pestilence poured through her eyes and ears,
Her face dark, painted with the blood of the innocent 
Her broad lips poring speeches of blasphemy
Emerald green eyes hardened, fists clenched,
Anger caging her in its satiating thirst for ultimate command

He sang to me,
Inspired by the rotting corpses round,
The terrifying shrills of sound
With increasing appetite
And with deeper bite - 
“We must prophesy my dwindling light! 
Together we sing to entrust our fight
Deny me not, my fleeing soul,
I will free you from all control
To rule with me in this rising Age
To serve our purpose by my side
I offer you a throne you cannot reject
Though do not decide just yet
Let your heart rejoice in our creating,
Our might exceeds all 
Overcome their pathetic cries, 
And in them, with me, rise.”

It was true then
Surely he expected me to disregard such a collateral plight

I closed my eyes to end the vision before me
My heart thumping against such an offer,
A threat to my light, I frowned, I remained silent
All the night there, tainted futures shown
I clenched the leviathan’s horns
Not wanting to be pulled into the sucking currents
Lasting all the night upon its burning back

Copyright © Laura Breidenthal

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

Solomon Mahlangu: My Blood will Nourish the Tree that will Bear the Fruits of Freedom

(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)

Solomon Mahlangu: My Blood will Nourish the Tree that will Bear the Fruits of Freedom:

Solomon Mahlangu was trained as an MK soldier with a view to later rejoining the struggle in the country.

He left South Africa after the Soweto Uprising of 1976 when he was 19 years old, and was later chosen to be part of an elite force to return to South Africa to carry out a mission commemorating the June 16th 1976 Soweto student uprising.

After entering South Africa through Swaziland and meeting his fellow comrades in Duduza, on the East Rand (east of Johannesburg), they were accosted by the police in Goch Street in Johannesburg.

In the ensuing gun battle two civilians were killed and two were injured, and Mahlangu and Motloung were captured while acting as decoys so that the other comrade could go and report to the MK leadership.

Motloung was brutally assaulted by the police to a point that he suffered brain damage and was unfit to stand trial, resulting in Mahlangu facing trial alone.

He was charged with two counts of murder and several charges under the Terrorism Act, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Though the judge accepted that Motloung was responsible for the killings, common purpose was argued and Mahlangu was found guilty on two counts of murder and other charges under the Terrorism Act.

On 15 June 1978 Solomon Mahlangu was refused leave to appeal his sentence by the Rand Supreme Court, and on 24 July 1978 he was refused again in the Bloemfontein Appeal Court.

Although various governments, the United Nations, International Organizations, groups and prominent individuals attempted to intercede on his behalf, Mahlangu awaited his execution in Pretoria Central Prison, and was hanged on 6 April 1979.

His hanging provoked international protest and condemnation of South Africa and Apartheid.

In fear of crowd reaction at the funeral the police decided to bury Mahlangu in Atteridgeville in Pretoria.

On 6 April 1993 he was re-interred at the Mamelodi Cemetery, where a plaque states his last words:

‘My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom.

Tell my people that I love them.

They must continue the fight.’

Mahlangu died for a cause!


The Struggle Continues…

(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)

Copyright © Scribbler Of Verses

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

Lost Identity: View point of a slave

Why is my skin color different?
Did God make me this way?
When he made me, did he have
intentions on me being a slave?

And I thought we were all brothers,
including all the ones of different colors.

But why are they beating and hurting the others.
Someone save me, I didn't choose this life.
These scars, they've carved me with the sharpest

All I have is my faith.
Because if I'd held on to anything else
it'd be theres to take.

What is it that I ask for?
Equality, I preach.
Something small to you, 
but makes a difference
for me.

Whipping, spitting, hitting on me.
Raping our women in your wife's sheets.
Taking our children and turning them into workers.
No sense of empathy, grief or composer.

For the brotha' on my left and my sista' on the right,
with the courage that I hold I will continue to fight.
You have taken away my freedom, and most of my life.
But what you have failed to obtain is my state of mind.

Go ahead work my body, and do all that you please.
This is just a shell anyway, it's not coming with me.
You spit, you laugh, thinking you gained the world.
You think you have power because you've raped a young girl.

Stand tall sir with all of that pride.
And go ahead and hold it until the day that you die.
But your day will come when you'll fall to your knees.
Feeling the burn on your body from the whips you've given me.

"The LORD is my shelter,"
I continue to say.
While my soul goes up as God takes me away.
I wish you peace with smile on my face,
knowing that God teaches the fullness of grace.

Copyright © Amber Binford

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

Not a Lie

not a Jewish lie
the Holocaust is for real
you can still hear screams

Copyright © Robert Heemstra

Details | Holocaust Poem | |


I traveled the world
And though it is vast
I still need a truth
That would always last

Studied some books
And know my mind too
The whole time God knows
Only love will do

Studied Religion and 
Forever I found
Even God loves Love
On this I expound

My Mom in my life
Always there for me
Taught me that true love
Would there always be

Love doesn't judge man
And I'm very free
From color or type
Of good company

True love doesn't die
"Oh Love, you'll abound,"
Despite all the bad
You'll stand your ground

Love's the Law for me
We are always free
Love keeps me alive
This is Love's decree.

Copyright © Catherine Mary Airan

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

Leather Summit

A mountain of shoes,
Tower the valley of clothes:
Holocaust landscape.

Inspired by the Auschwitz Shoes

Copyright © Raul Moreno

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

The Rotten

Analysis read—and wronged—and pulled
Lulled into our idealistic mess
Words no longer ours but hung distress
Farced in carnality—they are ruled

Soundness remains what we will believe 
And all else is but tethered nonsense
Clinched tightly in unfriendly absence
Overcome in overwrought relief

The judges judge on behalf of tongue
When ears and eyes close achingly tight
And perhaps in woe we find them right
For witches sought and bound must be hung!

Lower than the softened dirt that cures
Where worms in halves blindly come to eat
The higher crush with tormented feat
And the suns scorch what is left of hers

Answers never tried—and cured to hide
They look to superior sources
The rotten are the strongest forces
Ripened and toughened with bequeathed pride

-Iambic Tetrameter
Contest: Metrical verse
Sponsor: Giorgio Veneto
Laura Breidenthal

Copyright © Laura Breidenthal

Details | Holocaust Poem | |


A trail of smoke fades to an autumn dawn,
as sounds of morning break unearthly still,
arising to the day, some life goes on,
while others have the fear it never will.

Some ashes drift about the morning air,
appearing as do snowflakes in a stall,
to restless breezes they drift everywhere
and they are spread about before they fall.

Each life that was, is slow in pure descent,
and longing for the earth turning below,
the mother of all life, where time is spent,
until time's all run out--it's time to go.

Down in the valley echoes from a train,
awhistling, here come the dead again.
© ron Wilson aka Vee Bdosa the Doylestown Poet

Copyright © Vee Bdosa

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

Our Invincible Defeat

The inner and the outer,
Are dissolving fast in space.
The ominous clouds of thunder,
Are covering your face.

The meek the mild and innocent,
Are trampled under feet,
As we go one marching blindly,
To our invincible defeat.

No more calling softly,
No more calling you,
We've lost our hope and loving,
What once we thought was true.

And now the choice is coming,
Riding on a wave,
To be a free man dying,
Or be a mad man's slave.

And now the drums are drumming,
Drumming down the line,
Will you be marching forwards?
Will you be deaf and blind?

Will the light of sacred meaning?
Shine from bottom of your heart?
As the soldiers go on marching,
Tearing our humanity apart.

more at

Copyright © ness tillson

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

Southern Love Southern hate

Southern love,  Southern hate 
they are the opposite of each other 
 I have  memories of both in the State I love dearly.

Going back to a old plantation home in the South ,
as a child I played in the many Pecan trees , collecting baskets upon baskets of fresh pecans .

the smell of fresh pies , of pecan and rhubarb , oh my Mom took the prize .

One afternoon , School was out , it was in summer  , reminisce of fresh lemonade 
My Mother called my name 'child come in here now " in the middle of the day ' 
she many times called and I would hide in this paradise full of honeysuckle and pecans .

This time the tone was one of fear , and alert , "come inside Now"
 I ran to the top of the old plantation stairs to my Mother .
I saw in the distance what seemed to be a parade in the day .

This time the parade was of people in "white sheets ' going door to door,
just like salesman they would knock , they would greet .
my Mother said " We have no time for this here " leave now , and leave fast. yours is only teachings of Discriminate .

she sent them quickly away , giving back the paper , the invite 
These people dressed in funny white  sheets .  
only later I discovered what this was about 
Your Parents do their very best , to keep any Evil out .

These people are not just from the South , they are all over the World 
Leaving me that day with no doubt . Make the choice you have , we all do
Remember Gods Children are innocent , and many a color , they could be Blue ~

Copyright © Shanity Rain

Details | Holocaust Poem | |


I am a Jewish boy 
I wonder if I will ever survive 
I hear people screaming and crying 
I see skinny people with shaved 
I want to see my family 
I am a Jewish boy 
I pretend to smile 
I feel very scared 
I touch something that feels like a 
I worry if I will ever survive 
I cry when I see dead bodies 
I am a Jewish boy 
I understand someone ought to die 
I say people will survive and 
freedom will come 
I dream that I will survive this 
catastrophic event 
I try to save other people 
I hope for freedom 
I am a Jewish boy

Copyright © Vinnie Magnani

Details | Holocaust Poem | |


A million people just like me
All close, claustrophobic, strangers
I may not seem or look alone but I am
I am alone 
Alone, alone, alone
Those words roaring in my head like a wild fire
I feel alone 
All teenage girls like me
My mum in the woman's section
I miss her
My dad in the men's section
I miss him
And my brothers in the boy's section
I miss them
I am alone 
I feel alone
I don't want to be alone
Alone, alone, alone...

Copyright © dylan kennedy

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

The damage is done

There no use in trying to mend these broken and shattered pieces.
Its done for. Your saying that I'm great, that I'm strong. That I'll find someone else. 
It's cut a deep void in my life. And left me completely sleepless.
Only vulgarity comes to mind, I dug deep who knew that so easily, your feelings would melt.

It disappeared overnight. Oh! The unfairness I'm faced with.
Maybe I deserve the pain. From all angles it sprouts.
I'm filled with hate. Length and width.
I tried! I tried! Did you expect me to shout?!

How I miss waking up in love! All smiles, no regrets at all.
It's become a feeling I definitely don't want again, never ever again.
Its a lesson learned, behind happiness, despair crawls!
Don't fall too hard, once you fall, it happens over and over, it never ends.

I hate to say this again, but what's done is done.
There no turning back once the damage is done.

Copyright © Azharuddin Adam

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

A Name says it All

some nmes like Hitler
Charles Manson are terror
Jesus Christ is not

Copyright © Robert Heemstra

Details | Holocaust Poem | |


These are the words 
that come to mind. 
Family members were
hard to find. 
People couldn't be 
who they were.
Making their
lives a total blur. 
If only for a 
moment would 
they recall.
Feelings of 
being trapped
in a cell wall.  

Copyright © Melissa De Vos

Details | Holocaust Poem | |

A Story My Mother Told Me

someone always told me this with tears in her eyes...

(for Lata Sethi's late-mother, who was my mother’s ‘sister’ and who took us all into her heart, and for Lata and Ravi Sethi of Defence Colony, New Delhi)

a wife left South Africa in the 1960’s to join her husband 
who was in exile at the time...

in 1970 the husband was sent by the African National Congress to India to be its representative there...

the husband and wife spent two years in Bombay...

one afternoon the husband fell and broke his leg...

the wife knocked on their neighbour’s door, in an apartment complex in Bombay

the neighbour was an old Punjabi lady...

the wife asked the neighbour for a doctor to see to the injured husband...

a Parsi ‘Bone-Setter’ was promptly summoned...

the husband still recalls his anxiety of seeing ‘Bone-Setter’ written on the Parsi gentleman’s bag...

by the way, the ‘Bone-Setter’ worked his ancient craft and surprisingly for the husband, his broken leg healed quite soon...

but still on that day, while the ‘Bone-Setter’ was seeing to the husband...

the wife and the old Punjabi lady from next door got to talking about this and that and where these new Indian-looking wife and husband were from as their accents were clearly not local...

the wife told the elderly Punjabi lady that the husband worked for the African National Congress of South Africa and had left to serve the ANC from exile...

and that they had left their two children behind in South Africa and that they were now essentially political refugees...

the Punjabi lady broke down and wept uncontrollably...

she told the foreign woman that she too had had to leave her home in Lahore in 1947 and flee to India with only the clothes on her back when the partition of the subcontinent took place and Pakistan was formed and at a time when Hindus from Pakistan fled to India and vice versa...

the Punjabi lady then asked the foreign woman her name...

‘Zubeida’, but you can call me ‘Zubie’...

the Punjabi woman hugged Zubie some more, and the two women, seperated by age and geography, wept, sharing a shared pain...

the Punjabi woman told Zubie that she was her ‘sister’ from that day on, and that she felt that pain of exile and forced migration and what being a refugee felt like...

Zubie and her husband Mosie became the closest of friends with the Hindu Punjabi neighbours who were kicked out of Pakistan by Muslims...

then came the time for Mosie and Zubie to leave for Delhi where the African National Congress office was based...

the elderly Punjabi lady and Mosie and Zubie said their goodbyes...

a year or two later, the elderly Punjabi lady’s daughter Lata married Ravi Sethi and the couple moved to Delhi...

the elderly Punjabi lady called Zubie and told her that her daughter was coming to Delhi to live and that she had told Lata, her daughter that she had a ‘sister’ in Delhi...

Lata and Ravi Sethi then moved to Delhi...

This was in the mid-1970’s...

Lata and Zubie became the closest of friends and that bond stayed true, and stays true till today, though Zubie is no more, and the elderly Punjabi lady is no more...

the son and the husband still have a bond with Lata and Ravi Sethi...

a bond that was forged between Hindu and Muslim and between two continents across the barriers of creed and time...

a bond strong and resilient, forged by the pain and trauma of a shared experience...

and that is why, and I shall never stop believing this, that hope shines still, for with all the talk of this and of that, and of that and of this, there will always be a simple woman, somewhere, anywhere, who would take the ‘other’ in as a sister, a fellow human...

and that is why there will always be hope...
hope in the midst of this and of that and of that and of this...


(for Lata Sethi's late-mother, who was my mother’s ‘sister’ and who took us all into her heart, and for Lata and Ravi Sethi of Defence Colony, New Delhi)

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Haikus About God: III

Beauty of nature
Why condense it down to God?
Isn’t life enough?

Copyright © Dan Keir