I am sorry we never had learned, to know each other better,
Until it was too late,
I am sorry we never had done things together,
Until it was too late,
All my memories of you are sad and hurtful,
Full of guilt, pain and confusion,
Somehow, my memories of you are of holocaust, loss,
Grandparents and family I never had or met,
All were giants; I could never measure to,
Memories of long walks along the “wall of relatives search”,
In Tel-Aviv on Friday mornings, opposite the “Big Synagogue”,
Me a 5 or 6 years old boy,
Reading every little note, which was begging, asking:
“Has anyone seen?”” Has anyone heard?” “Of so and so,
Last seen in this and that”,” please contact…..that or this”,
As if I did not have enough of all our family gone
I was now looking for all the missing Jews of Europe,
You have given me quiet an inheritance since childhood,
I read every book about the holocaust, read every article,
So I could be worthy of the ghosts I inherited,
Yet never did I had you hug me,
Until the week you passed away,
Never did you say you loved me,
– And now, you never will,
Not that you did not love or care,
You just never knew how,
In your last few days, you held on to me,
These last three days together, in hospital,
We were the closest we ever were,
We touched more than we did in all the years before,
Maybe because somehow you knew
The end was near, so you let yourself show
The “weakness” of showing love,
I am sorry Abba for all of that and more,
I am sorry for the times I could have been with you –
But I was not
I am sorry for all the holidays you could have been with us –
Around the table – but you were not,
I am sorry we did not have more time together,
But we do not,
Rest in peace Abba,
This must be the first time you really are at peace.


It said in the paper, “We must forget”
Enough with the memories, it has been long, no need to debate,
I never had any memories, or recollection
Never had grandparents, aunts or uncles, or cousins affection
No memories whatsoever, did I ever have,
No one was around to give me much love,
I never had birthdays, there was no one to invite
Never got presents, never blew a candle on a cake to give me delight
I really do not have anything to forget, because I have nothing to remember
I shall not remember, Nechemiah, and Avraymaleh,
Nor shall I remember, Chana, and Dina and Yosaleh,
I never had memories of them, of the whole Artman clan
I never forgot anyone; I have no one to remember, all gone,
The smells of death, have faded away,
The dogs were silenced, gone are the fences, a new day
More than fifty years have passed, that is plenty of time
Today we have a new Germany, its reputation on the climb,
On my birthdays, visitors are still few,
Still no grandparents, uncles or aunts, and cousins too,
At my eldest son’s Bar Mitzvah, we almost had a full table
Not huge, not very big, but growing very stable
Now my four children have nothing to forget,
They too have nothing to remember, it is an ongoing debt,
There is only a void, empty, dark, a whole people gone
And me and my children and theirs, for all generations from now on,
Will never forget, what was never remembered.