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by Paul Curtis  
7/02/2010 / Poetry

The tank stopped abruptly
And we sat open mouthed
At what we beheld
Our brains could not assimilate
What our eyes were seeing
Great mounds of . What?
It can't be that.
All the horrors of war
We had witnessed, experienced
Since D-day
Did not prepare us
For what Belsen held in store
A place devoid of God
A place where even birdsong was banished
We dismounted and approached on foot
As each step brought us closer
Our worst fears were realised
We saw that the mounds were indeed bodies
Or something likened to bodies
Then I saw an androgynous figure
Stood at the fence
A dirty little bag of bones
Wrapped in dirty rags
Bony fingers clutching the wire
Like a birds feet gripping a trig
I reasoned it was a girl
As the rags might well have been a dress
"We are English" I said
"Don't be afraid"
Her fleshless face was beyond gaunt,
Her shaved head little more than a skull
Her huge eyes were so black and deep
I could see into her soul
A weak smile played round her mouth
And tears welled up in her huge eyes
I would not have believed it possible
For her desiccated form
To have held enough moisture for tears
But they were there
And they ran down the grubby cheeks
Of the little bag of bones
And dripped onto her ragged dress
We ran to the gates
And forced them open
Then we stepped into the jaws of hell
More skeletal figure appeared
From amidst the piles of rotting corpses
Bemused and disbelieving
They hugged us, and thanked us
Some cried, some laughed
We gave them water
And fed them our rations
Not realising we were finishing
What the Germans had started
The food was too rich
For their weak emaciated bodies
What we didn't realise
Was we were killing them with kindness
The girls name was Elise
She was the same age as me
But she died the next day
Her face with the huge tear filled eyes
Haunted my dreams
All of the days of my life
Penetrating my soul
And breaking my heart
My only consolation
Was that she at least knew kindness
Once more before she died

I am a fifty something family man with a passion for writing and I draw inspiration from those around me.
paul.curtis1956 @

Article Source: WRITERS

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