Off Track

This documentary shows
sealed boxcars rolling past,
miles traveled
and miles to go.

Because this is a black & white documentary
and these are boxcars
I know they travel
to the Auschwitz-Birkenau gate.

My mind starts running lists
of Jewish names and biblical names.
There must be a man
carrying that list somewhere on the train.

I search the passing landscape
for signs that declare
where in Poland
the train is filmed.

I wonder if the Jews, Gypsies and Queers
carry their luggage
or if their luggage and hope
are already taken from them.

The train passes two children
playing near the tracks.
One wears an “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt.
The second tosses a baseball to his friend.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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