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.

One thought on “Remember

  1. Anne says:

    You have such a gift for words, I have reread some of your poems and I have been in tears, you have touched me deeply with your beautiful and sensitive words, thank you for sharing

    First time I encountered one of your kid’s poems I was sure I was reading a poem never before seen by Shel Silverstein.
    There are many similarities that I could recognise with a slight aroma of Jewish cooking in a small East European Shtetl, then I read some of the adult autobiographical poems and I was wondering how can one get so deep with so few words – amazing.



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