Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

A Poem by Elly

This was written as a class assignment. We had to respond to a visit to the Holocaust Museum in any way we liked. This poem was my way of expressing how I felt about the things that I saw there.


Pain and misery on the walls

People shot, starved, turned to dust

Many of us who walk these halls

Don't want to look

But know we must

Lest we let history repeat

And suffering retake the land

For how can we seek to defeat

An evil we don't understand?


Some claim the man who did this

Was just out of his mind

How can they even say this

When every day you find

Children's faces marred with cuts and bruises

That didn't come from  playground falls

And teens shouting "Jew!" as prejudice cruises

On silent wings around high school halls?


Jewish, black, disabled or gay,

A scapegoat can have any face

All it takes are some problems

And a little hearsay

To start the war of "race against race"

When we can't"won't"see that unity

Is the path to living better than we ever do

When we support one group's impunity

And say, "Too bad for the rest of you."


The people on the walls are saying,

"Look what happened!  Don't you care?"

Immortalized in pictures, eyes sunken, clothes fraying

Skeletal hands folded in an eternal prayer

That someone, somewhere will see their pain

Will see the cruelty, the wrongness, and then

Won't turn away and be so vain

As to think that it could never happen again


So next time a penny rolls down the hall

And you hear a joyful cry of "Jew!"

Or when you see a bruised child who didn't fall

Remember that prayer-

It was meant for you


Pain and misery on the walls

We want to turn away, and yet

Though the sheer brutality appals

We'll look, and learn

Lest we forget

© 2010 Elly

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Added on June 7, 2010
Last Updated on June 7, 2010
Tags: war, Holocaust, poetry, emotion, suffering, sadness, guilt, discrimination, intolerance, hate



Quebec, Canada

My pen name is Elly. My little piece of the world is found somewhere in Quebec, Canada. I love reading anything I can get my hands on and writing anything I can think of. I mostly read the In Death.. more..

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