Eluding Potential of Ever Again

No, I sit not in hiding
Shepherded by partisans
Seeking refuge in farmers’ house

In deep forest
Sheltered by good Belgians
Like my kin
My mischpucha
My cousins Georg and Selma, Charles and Nanette

No Gestapo chase close at my heels

I hide not in the attic
My parents do not warn me of bathing naked in the lake
For neighboring children
To glimpse my Jewishness

I learned not yet of family and friends perished beneath flames
Those refusing departing homes
Along Antwerp streets

But like my kin
My mischpucha
My cousins Georg and Selma, Charles and Nanette

Through forced distancing
Social isolation

I too dream, imagine
That sometime soon
This war
This plague among us

Will come to be
As a memory

Of a time of pain
A time of grief
A time when national leaders
Placed politics and economics
Above physical welfare

And most of all
I too dream, imagine
As a memory

Of a time of hope
A time of vigilance

To elude
To lessen
To soften
To diminish potential
Of ever again

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