Floral Dress at Auschwitz

Floral Dress at Auschwitz


You were one in a million


What colour You brought to life,

You, whom I cannot name and will not number;

yet numbered by those who claimed Your name

and believed in colours just two, testaments old and new;

black and white their view

and turned black to blue, your flesh tones too.

Battered, beaten and bruised, now frail and tender form,

that which was once so proudly hailed and held,

in Father’s arms and Mother’s shawl.


What colour You brought to life,

dressed in floral print and in newborn dawn daylight glint.

What sin could You commit in minds of evil intent,

You, the Voice, in place and time,

silenced, transported and transformed, without bread and wine?


What colour You brought to life,

through ritual, festival and feast,

tradition and Torah, Seder and Hannukah;

Your vibrancy and vitality

toned down for safety and security;

But through purposeful prejudice, arrogance and hostility

You were led away, dragged away, toward no ‘Good’ Friday.


What colour You brought to life,

to those who knew you, ‘one in a million,’

but, to those who didn’t, one in six,

‘a statistic’according to dictator’s creed,

just a number in a log he reads.


What colour You brought to life,

You who, with all, lost all, but hand-sewn yellow star;

With others you were brought from near and far.

For hope and life you craved, You who gave

and from whom was taken, long-held dreams through shtetl’s devastation;

You who loved and lived in flesh and blood

And lost and died in Auschwitz mud.