A Concentration Camp Poem

by Josca Zahn, age 13
A Concentration Camp Poem Josca is a ridiculously clueless redhead.

“I ask what color hair he had

he had quiffed brown hair that he loved

that he loved as much as I loved my red

red blood drips on the floor as we talk”

They shove hundreds

Hundreds of us onto a train

A train that leads us away

Away into the darkness.

 

The ride lasts days

Days that are filled with horror

Horror of slowly dying

Dying on the train

 

We arrive in the cold

cold except for the fire

fire and the smell

the smell of burning bodies

 

I stare at the people

people with guns

guns that glint from the light of the moon

the moon that shines down on us

 

Men to the left and women to the right

right to the front of the right line

the line of hundreds of us

of us humans, just like them

 

10 more people until me

me, little me, just 14 years old

old and young stand together

together in the darkness

 

I stand in front now

now I wait to be sorted

sorted by these men

these men who took me away

 

He flicks his baton, and they take my shoulders

my shoulders sting from their force

their force that pulls me towards a building

a building that can mean no good things.

 

I wait on another line,

a line to get my head shaved

shaved of my red curls

curls that I’ve grown to love

 

I’m tattooed

tattooed a number sequence

a sequence that will be my name

my name that isn’t what it was

 

They drag me to a bunker

a bunker where I will stay

stay until I die here

here in this place where I will die

 

I sit on a bunker as a boy walks in

into this hell hole and he gets pushed on my bed

my bed that I will be sharing with so many others, and this boy

this boy who blinks and tries not to cry

 

The nakedness does not bother me at all

all of us are naked, but they give us uniforms

uniforms that fit me, but are too big on others

other people’s uniforms are too small

 

They tell us to sleep

sleep is out of the question

so I question the boy about his life

his life that was taken from him

 

I ask what color hair he had

he had quiffed brown hair that he loved

that he loved as much as I loved my red

red blood drips on the floor as we talk

 

The boy asks my age

my age that was taken away

away from all of us

us here in this awful place

 

We get split up during the day

the day of labor

labor almost too hard

too hard for someone like me

 

I carry bodies

bodies of the dead

dead people that could have been me

me or anyone else who survived

 

At night I talk to the boy again

again we share our pasts

our pasts that we miss

we miss our lives

 

I could die today

today anyone could die

dying isn’t scary anymore

anymore time here will kill me

 

I spend all day working

working to keep alive

alive, but I’m slowly dying

dying all alone

 

I tell the boy we can’t be friends

friends will give me weakness

weakness I cannot risk to have

to have here in this awful place

 

He says that we are not friends

not friends just acquaintances

acquaintances we will be

be wary here in this place of death

 

We awake to hear the screams

screams of so many like us

like us they suffer

suffer and die alone

 

I know that I will die soon

soon enough I will starve

starve to death slowly

slowly isn’t the way I want to die

 

I am getting thinner every day

days and days pass by

by and by I grow weak

weak and sad all alone

 

People keep leaving

leaving and never coming back

back here into this hell

hell is not enough to describe this

 

I am working when they kill the boy

the boy who I have grown to know

knowing that I cannot cry for him

for him I make a grave

 

I sit with many others on the bed

the bed that is missing my friend

my friend who I lost today

today many people died

 

Should I kill myself I wonder

I wonder if this will ever end

end of all inferiors will happen

happen here today

 

I am piling up burned bodies

bodies that I recognize

I recognize the boy’s brown eyes

eyes that I close with my fingers

 

I know what I have to do

doing this will end my life

a life I have grown to hate

hate as much as the men who did this

 

The boy has reminded me

me, I am me, I can do this

this thing that will cause my death

death to be by the side of my friend

 

A guard tells me to work

work is something I won’t do now

now as I deny his orders

he orders another man to shoot me

 

I take the bullet willingly

willingly ready to die

dying will be peaceful

peacefully I fall and close my eyes

 

Darkness is all around me now

 

I open my eyes

my eyes adjust

adjust to the light

light that shines

shines through the eyes

 

the eyes of the boy.

1 Comment

  • Charlotte Brandt says:

    I remember hearing you read this and I loved it. I am amazed at your skill and I am going to read this poem all the time. Thank you for your friendship!

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