My Dear Children

My dear children
Don’t worry now, we’ll get out of here
You will breathe fresh air soon
I’ll find a way
Trust me, it’s OK,
I’ll do anything I can
I always taught you to trust God.
Let’s pray now to our savior.

Where are you, God?
Do you hear us? Do you see us?
Of course you do.
Please, help us.
Please get us out of here.
I beg you, God, Please!!!

My dear children,
Don’t worry. Look around.
There are hundreds of people here.
Families, our neighbors,
Many other good Jews.
We are not alone.
God will not let all these people die.

My dear children, don’t give up.
Let’s put our trust in God, our savior.
Yosele, your tender face is turning blue.
Shaina, breathe!
I know, it feels like choking,
But breathe. Don’t give up,

Do you hear us, God?
Where are you, Please, hurry up!
Time is running out, we still trust you.
Do we have a choice?
What can I do?
I will break this wall with my fists,
With my feet, with my head.
My fists don’t hurt.
I don’t mind the blood and broken bones.
But this concrete wall has not moved a bit.
Not even a tiny crack.
Just bloody scratches.

Will you, God?

My dear children, wait! Don’t give up!
I’ll do something, I promise you.

God!!! Hurry! WHERE ARE YOU???
Why don’t you come?
Why don’t you help?
Is this what you really want?
Please! Don’t let us down now!
Listen to me. I’m calling you
I’m talking to you,
With my heart, with my guts.
Please help us, just once, just this time.

My dear children,
I’m sorry I didn’t take care of you better.
I should have made sure that we are not
Going to wind up in a gas chamber.
I’m so sorry.
I just don’t know what to do now.
I think it’s too late.
I’m so sorry.
I have not been a good father to you.
I should have seen this coming.
The writing was on the wall,
But I didn’t want to believe.
I was so naive.
I thought God is the greatest
And I trusted him blindly.
God is great, but Hitler is bigger.
Do you hear me?
Yosele! Shaina!
Wake up!
Your faces look so peaceful now.

Is this what you really wanted, God?
Look at them, they are so young!
Bring them back!
Yosele! Shaina!
Wake up! Breathe!
Why, God? Why?
I don’t understand.
I don’t have time to understand anymore
I give up. My flame is extinguishing.
It’s getting dark. I don’t see anything now
I just feel the kids in my arms
And the exploding pain in my body.
Now it doesn’t even hurt anymore
My life energy is draining out.
I’m not going to say “Shma”
No one receives my prayers anymore.
I die with gas in by lungs,
My dead kids in my arms.

~LiOr Jacob
San Francisco, 1997

Dear Daddy

Papa, what happens?
I’m scared. What happens here?
Why is everyone screaming?
It hurts my ears
I’m scared, papa
Don’t leave me now.
Please, take care of me.

What happens to me?
I can’t breathe
I’m getting dizzy, papa
I’m cold.
Papa help me.
Hold me, papa.

Papa, hold me tight
It feels good
I love to feel your skin, your hair
It feels warm and so familiar
I’m choking, papa
Hold me
Yes, I feel better now

Yes, papa, I’ll pray to God with you
Where is he?
OK, papa, here, louder.
Please, God….
He’s not here, papa
I don’t feel him here
He’s up there very far away
He doesn’t hear us
Doesn’t matter, now
Just hold me now, papa.

Why are you worried so much, papa?
Hold me closer, papa
I feel safe when you hold me.

No, papa, don’t hurt yourself
Are you trying to break the wall?
There is blood on your hands
There is blood on your face
No! Papa, NOOO!!!!

Yes, it’s good when you hold me like this.
Your blood is warm
Your tears are warm
It’s OK, papa, it’s OK.

Don’t worry, papa
We are together now
I trust you, papa
Whatever happens, we are together
I don’t need to breathe
It feels nice like this
Whatever happens.

Papa, it’s getting dark
It feels better
I’m leaving
Come with me
If we stay together then everything is OK.
Right, papa?

I feel closer to mama, now
Do you feel her, too, papa?
Hold me, come with me
I feel good now, papa
I feel light, easy

Gassing, David Olure