A child wrote this while in the Terezin Concentration Camp on the outskirts of Prague the day that he/she was sent to the gas chamber. I cried for that child that no one had been able to save. I wondered for the hundredth time how we could save our David … and if a child in a concentration camp had been able to remain optimistic until the end, how dare I give up?
On a purple sun-shot evening
under the 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 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!