This poem was inspired by a broken doll that I saw when I visited Auschwitz in 2007.
Come my Essie, I will tuck you
snug and cosy in your pram.
See my dolly dressed so finely.
Ima, watch me wheel her round.
Hurry Leeba, I must dress you,
Journey’s long, the night is cold.
Eat, for you will be soon be hungry.
Train so crowded, young and old.
‘Pack for new life,’ so they tell us,
Times are hard, our lives stripped bare,
Husband, father, man no longer,
Where is Aba?
Hope is gone, my heart is broken.
What’s this place?
Arbeit Macht Frei.
Stay close by me little Leeba.
Ima, I don’t want to die.
Ima, see my poorly Essie
Has no eyes, her hair is torn.
Where is Aba? Will he mend her?
She sees no more.