OLD GERTRUDE

 

Old Gertrude hangs her head and hides her eyes

A tear rolls down her cheek; it's no surprise

Though it happened more than seventy years ago

Sometimes it's just too fresh and the tears just flow

 

The pounding woke them up at four a.m.

Ten soldiers broke the door.  They'd come for them

Three little girls-- one three, one four, one ten

Who'd never see their parents alive again

 

They took the girls from home -- they wore no shoes

No coats, no warmth... you see, the girls were Jews

Pushed on a train...  With strangers they did ride

And they were beaten if they broke down and cried

 

Into the camp they marched, their toes were frozen

Not ever knowing why they had been chosen

Thin gruel was what they ate  when they were lucky

Three years thus they survived... yes, they were plucky

 

Others had been worked to death, or worse

Their captors were so evil and perverse

The showers weren't for cleansing, only death

The place where one would take one's final breath

 

But one gray day, the gates were thrown ajar

By soldiers who had traveled from afar

Gertrude and her sisters, orphans three

Were taken to a land across the sea

 

Into this land of liberty they came

New freedom.  Nothing would ever be the same

A family took them in.  They went to school

And learned that education is a tool

 

They married.  They raised children and they grew

To love this land where it's no sin to be a Jew

But never will the memories they hold

Be forgotten.  The stories must be told

 

And so today old Gertrude tells the tale

Of how she came to be here, her travail

And though her tears still flow, her heart is healed

For love and freedom here have been her shield.

 

©1999 - 2017 Mary Barnett / Moodesigns