Steel wheels awaken me
sweat, pine, pitch, dirt and fear assail
mumblings, murmurs, and a baby's cry
and from the crowd "Where am I?"
Slats on a sliding door strains sunlight
dust and grime a mist-like viel
hour upon hour a painful, unending ride
steady rocking of our despised cradle.
I watch the shoes, so many I have made
fine leather and hobnail too
banker, tailer, onion seller, rich and poor
side by side by side, David's few.
Young mother, frightfully clutching her love
worries at how she'll find who has gone before.
So an apple, mouldy bread and a smile we share
and two young hearts rest while I watch a little more.
Some softly sing a sad and ancient song
the train slows, tracks curve, death's welcome.
"Arbeit Macht Frei", -- work brings freedom
at our journey's end at the cerebus gates of Auschwitz.