On a purple, sun-shot evening Under wide-flowering chestnut trees Upon the threshold full of dust Yesterday, today, the days are all like these. Trees flower forth in beauty, Lively 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 with blue Convinced I’ve smiled by some 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 couldn’t l? I will not die! 1944
Anonymous (Written by the children in Barracks L 318 and L 417; ages 10-16 years) in the Terezin Concentration Camp on the outskirts of Prague. If those children had been able to remain optimistic until the end, how dare I give up, ever?