On the Train from Warsaw to Krakow

On the Train from Warsaw to Krakow

On a train. A Jew watching the Polish forests flying past the window

In silent knowing; as if their deep roots and dying leaves have never stopped

Holding memory and telling stories.

Hard to push away images of Jews in cattle cars seeing the same landscapes

On a forced journey to their deaths

Or the Poles watching indifferently perhaps, seeing through their tram windows

A people brutalized, dehumanized.

Did these farms and houses now hiding in the sunset once hide Jews?

Do the homes from which they were chased still stand as witnesses?

Are there remains of burned synagogues amidst these quickly passing villages?

Any remnants of that vibrant, lost world?

I try to imagine what thoughts beyond how long will it be until death greets me,

Pierced into the minds of these terrified, humiliated ones, crammed into cars like animals.

As I find myself, outrageously, irritated by my neighbors legs too close to mine, or the

Conversations around me in a language I don’t understand, I wake myself up to

Remember

The horrors of those trains, as mine pulls gracefully into Krakow where a hotel room

And a clean bed await me.