Children being deported from Lodz Ghetto
in Nazi-occupied Poland for the Death Camp at Chelmno, 1942.
They would have been gassed within 24 hours of leaving the ghetto.
Like the little boy across the street
who comes out every day
in front of his house
he walks back and forth, arms outstretched, head thrown back
singing out to the world
his voice is sweet and young and full
in summer he is barefoot
in fall he wears shoes
perhaps his mother has said, "Go outside, go! Sing outside!"
because she is tired of hearing him
I never tire of hearing him
sometimes his song is soft and gentle
sometimes, loud and strong
always that sweet high note he hits so well
to give me gooseflesh and shivers
the dream that climbs on youth
as the sun slides to twilight
making gold of everything
and his mother calls him in
what if one day he did not come out?
what if one day he did not dream?
*Note: There really is a little boy across the street from me who comes out of his house nearly every day to sing. He reminds me of the talent, the power, the promise and the love our children hold. He reminds me of the Dreamers, who dreamed their dreams as children and worked hard to create wonderful futures for themselves and their families. President Trump - Please do not deport our Dreamers! They are the essence of America, all that people who have escaped oppression wish for their children.
©Patricia Goodwin, 2017
Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the Salem witch trials and the vicious 11-year-old pirate Ned Low. Holy Days is her third novel, about the sexual, psychological seduction of Gloria Wisher and her subsequent transformation. Her newest book is Telling Time By Apples, And Other Poems About Life On The Remnants of Olde Humphrey Farme, illustrated by the author.