Saturday, December 3, 2016
Outside the sunlight is bright,
But inside the café it is cold
As I turn the pages of the Times.
about the current Donald Trump actions
(“Trump Disrupts China Relations with Taiwan Call”)
and about “Security Crisis in Afghanistan Opens the Gates for Terrorists’ Resurgence.”
And then pause to reflect upon the stolen gate just now found in Oslo:
“Gate Thought to Be From Dachau Is Found.”
When I come home,
I find more online reports about this
The Nazis imprisoned some 200,000 people
In this concentration camp
That opened in Germany in 1933,
Where 41,500 people were estimated
To have been killed there,
Before it was liberated
By American troops at the end of World War II.
When I come home, I see the pile of books
About World War II
That I had left unfinished reading last night
(restless as I always am when I try to sleep):
William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Charles Glass’s Americans in Paris: Life & Death Under Nazi Occupation.
One of those nightmarish concentration camps
That my dear, dear friend, Alice Herz-Sommer, the famous Czech Jewish pianist, lived in
–she was in Theresienstadt with her son
And yet, magically survived,
Only dying in 2014 at age 110.
I sit looking out of the café window
Musing on history
That must not be forgotten.
Moira Roth is an art historian, writer and playwright with a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1985 she has taught at Mills College. She has published extensively including Difference/Indifference: Musings on Postmodernism, Marcel Duchamp and John Cage. Currently she is at work on her second volume, Traveling Companions/ Fractured Worlds. This poem is No. 13 in her ongoing News from the Café series.
Image via Flickr.