For Anne Frank (whose name meant grace)
I saw you last night
fragile, smiling dark eyes -a Madonna-
you sat on the other side of the room.
Your hands folded neatly beneath your chin
Your fingers entwined, resting now, long and thin,
elegant digits, on which as a child
you had learned to count.
It stopped for you at fifteen.
Your thirteenth birthday present
two years of silence and still air,
transportation on a screaming train
amid a harsh and alien language of pain-
that was how and when
you were delivered.
You slept at night and dreamt of chaos
or of the girl you were and might have become.
Abandoned by God, whose creation rained hate.
Drifting ash slowly fell, soft snow -a gray fate.
You watched it descend from the sky you once knew-
and it all came to rest
on your shoulders.
You were us, watched by guards who
raged at contentment-life's new sentries-
one purpose-a vast concentration -
Jack boots, lock step, we'll lock you in cells-
The final solution -we'll send to send you to hell-
Wear this at your peril -yellow stars on lapels
the symbol of your denouement.
I rewrote your end - it is this that you saw:
an absence of darkness and concrete and cold
in a fever of bliss that held you in light -
those eyes- resting- sleeping and closed now to sorrow
soft voice, tender hands, and a different tomorrow,
and the barbed, stretching wire of your prison, your fences
bathed now in cleansing sun.
*I saw a girl last night who looked just like Anne Frank