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Last Train to Auschwitz

Was it day, was it night?
 shufflings, packed with arms, legs, heads, torsos
  handled like cattle on a train car, ready to move along the tracks;
the bodies merge -
 men, women, teenagers, children, babes in arms,
  blended, mixed in sweat and fear, every sound loud 
   whispering, trembling, interment tremors of a heartbeat pounding;
the echoes live,
 inaudible, aghast, compelling rage and fear 
  holding every breath, acquiesced acceptance, and submission; 
the rumors of truth or lie prevail,
 now immaterial, unimportant, insignificance set in a new reality
  where time, life, no longer matters, possessions, money, land,
   all trinkets left, buried to confiscated time;
last call. boarding passes for all, believers and deceivers, travelers
 on the last train to Auschwitz;
  was it day, was it night? 
Surely, you remember, or is it just another lie of denial
 history fading away, haunted by the sound of the train whistle
  blowing smoke, hollowed thru clouds, in the emptiness of the gray sky,
an oblivion of yesterday's images,
 peer thru the slitted openings and see
 line after line of crosses and stones, marking the ghosts, waiting
all aboard now.

 Can we ever learn 
    from the tragedies of our shared history?

Will it be today
 or tomorrow?

Last Train to Auschwitz 
for Kai Michael Neumann's Poetry Contest

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