Not Another Dark Holocaust Poem (by Renna Ulvang)

Not Another Dark Holocaust Poem: Chava, Miriam, Auschwitz  

by Renna Ulvang

It is tempting to dredge up ashy metaphors for your last days on earth

To remain riveted, horrified, impaled by thoughts of what it must have been like

Torn away from the comfort of a beautiful room, in your beautiful clothes, your ordinary Jewish lives

Turning away from the gathering gray clouds; the rumors, the stricken faces, the sinking fears pulling you into a reality too dreadful to be faced

And then, too late;

for Chava, for Miriam, too late


But wait, here is where I stop being able to go with you, onto that train, towards the sorting desk: live or die,

The barracks, the showers, the endings.

Instead I carry you in my arms into the present

Into my music, quilting, cooking, tikkuning, praying and I feel you here in the invisible connections

Great-aunts with large breasts, recipes, laughter, wisdom, sewing machines, struggles: loving life, loving me.

I hold you here, in the only life I have, living it in memory of you.


Renna Ulvang is a long time member of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue; a psychotherapist and certified spiritual director, companioning people in their search for connection to the Divine. (

tags: Spirituality   
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