If in barbed wire things can bloom, why oh why can’t I? I will not die ….


I was paging leisurely through a magazine when I came across the following poem, written in1944, by an anonymous child in the Terezin Concentration Camp on the outskirts of Prague. The child wrote it the day that he/she was sent to the gas chamber to die.

On a purple sun-shot evening

under wide-flowering chestnut trees

upon the threshold of

yesterday, today, the days are all like these.

Trees flower forth in beauty

Lovely too, their very wood all gnarled and old

that I am half afraid to peer

into their crowns of green and gold.

The sun has made a veil of gold

so lovely that my body aches

Above, the heavens shriek of blue

convinced that I’ve smiled by mistake.

The world’s abloom and seems to smile

I want to fly, but where, how high?

If in barbed wire things can bloom

Why can’t I? I will not die.

I cried a lot after reading this, then came to my senses. If this child could be so optimistic in a concentration camp, how dare I give up my fight against schizophrenia? I had to keep going, keep searching for answers and the miracle medication that might help my son.

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This entry was posted in Senior Citizens on by .

About Jill

Author of books and articles on support and experiences of living with a mentally ill family member. My aim in blogging is to let others see how a loving family, with a father and husband who is able to give unconditional love, can help the family cope. Many call me the blogging grandma.'

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