Thursday, November 6, 2014

Lost Innocence (for deverse; Fair)

I thought it
would be fair

way back when
before I learned
of atrocity

Sitting in a classroom
15, blinded by what
I thought it meant to
be human

Kind, compassionate,

Then truth stabbed me
in that room filled with peers-

As we fixed our gaze
on a slideshow of genocide
mastered by a madman
supported by his followers

Men, women and children
all heaped in mass of
“ethnic cleansing”

I remember crying, unable
to sleep
asking my dad how such a thing
could happen, not once but
many times?

He shook his head
unable to find an answer. 

I will be haunted
from the visions
of concentration camps.

 I felt my innocence
die that day.
and still I wonder
how life could be
so far from fair?


  1. The holocaust destroyed God for some, or the idea of a loving one, & strengthen the faith in others, as God was all there was to cling to in Aushwitz. A strong poem, this; for it illuminates the death of innocence, unfair in itself. Perhaps, the Zen & New Age views that we are what we ourselves planned for us to be, to do; the hardships, successes, loves, & health issues. I favor that view, for then, like the Jews in Nazi occupied countries, I can still believe in something; gosh, am I number One?

  2. a couple years ago i took a kid, so full of hate and anger at his father & taking it out on everyone, to the holocaust was humbling for him...and i remember sitting on the little bench on one of the floors and he just balling his eyes out...fair had new meaning for him that day as well...

  3. I often wonder if this seems like ancient times to young people. It was occurring at the time I was born. It was a long time before the books, pictures, and full revelation of the atrocities were known to us. We were in high school and it shook our generation. Our parents hated the Germans for two world wars, but we were shocked beyond words about the holocaust. I met a Rabbi after school prior to my having to come face to face with the atrocities. He tried to help me understand faith and come to grips with the prejudices in my community. It was only a few years ago I found that he had been in Auschwitz. He never told me. I haven't quite recovered from the realization of his amount of compassion and forgiveness. The arc of the human condition is mind-boggling. The goodness and evil they are capable of is infinite.
    I so much appreciate your writing this revealing poem! Thank you.

  4. Good example of the unfairness in life, Lisa. The inhumane things that humans perpetrate on each other sometimes is mind boggling. Unfortunately inhumanity exists just as much in our world of 2014. Much of it out of sight of the world. North Korea. The killings by ISIS. Etc. A strong poem.

  5. far from fair indeed... i am german and it's a heavy history we're carrying... on my last trip to berlin i visited an exhibition as well about the holocaust and it took days until the pictures blurred...

  6. The world is going nowhere now. There is no clear vision here, some people think themselves as superior , but when god cares or feels for everyone same then who these handful of people are to decide. really life has many shades some beautiful , some disturbing.

  7. I remember that moment too Lisa, I decided to go on a trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington later that same year, I don't have any answers either, how we could do such things to each other.

  8. I think that it's one way to see that fairness can be measured in millimeters or lightyears... maybe we should focus on the big picture... such a cruel awakening..

  9. The pictures are true and I still have my own set. Someday I will post them. They are very old: black and white prints. Humanity against humanity. I do not think any age is too old or too young. Atrocity is an ugly manifestation of mass ignorance. Ancient or modern.

  10. hankering for power and abysmal ignorance do everything's so easy to excite the general public and create a hysteria of mass hatred for others..yet everyone longs for peace...what a paradox!!

  11. There is a shock to it all isn't there? When we see the images and they are tied to things we've "heard about" and it all becomes real.

  12. This is powerful - incomprehensible to the young, to whom such things should be simple - right - such things can happen. And the sad thing is, while WWII is still taught in the classrooms, genocide continues to this day, and not much is said about it. Or, more to the point, done about it.

  13. It is utterly mind boggling what deranged humans will do to other humans. Powerful poem.

  14. I like your exploration of "fairness" here and a young girl's realization that all is not fair (far from it). The Holocaust - even the word immediately gives me chills.


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