How far can we trace blame for the Holocaust? To the guards themselves? Or to the people who watched, and did nothing?

Blonde wool of plaits swing


Musically to the bounce of her step.

These golden tangles in a mass of cheerful fibres

Twist through themselves,

A simple complexity,

To contain her unyielding locks.


By train,

The reek of grey ash may settle in her tamed mane,

The flakes of silver

Mingling with the gold of her hair,

Like a gentle snow in winter does.


Her braid now lies in a monumental glass coffin,

In a room as a tribute to the blunt scissors

Of the heartless.

Amongst the auburns

And the chestnuts

And the umbers.

The mass grave of downy threads have faded after years of visitors,

Yet the mountain of lost beauty still greets their hungry eyes.

The wealthy hue has been bleached from her curled lock,

And remains in its tomb

Outliving the girl,

And the mother who lovingly plaited it.

The End

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