Three men by Rob Cullen

I will not use your name
I listened when you spoke for so many
You were a child in Auschwitz-Birkenau
You spoke of how you survived
Brief references
No details
You spoke of your grief
The overwhelming feeling of numbness
To the brutality
The realisation that death was imminent
Every second minute every day
Because you were a Jew
The tattooed numbers remained
You became a psychologist
You taught me how to reach
The young who felt lost.

You have no name
I knew it once
I worked with you in a steelworks
I didn’t understand your accent
Your way of speaking
You explained you were a child in Birkenau
Taken there from Belgium
After telling me of your life
A day or so later you disappeared
No reasons were given or left.

You were an old quiet man
I sat with talking over quiet pints
Stanislaus your father was a baker
And you delivered bread to the SS
And smuggled what you could
To the Jews facing the risk
On discovery of certain death
After liberation the communists took over
And you fled to make a home in this country
Late in your life you were honoured
By Poland for your heroism
Your humbleness weighing each word
“What choice do you have
You can’t do nothing
So many did they have to live with themselves
And the choices they made”
Once for a year you pretended
To be my father
So that we could have free coal
When we had no money coming in
You died a decade ago
I honour you and our quiet talks still.

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One thought on “Three men by Rob Cullen

  1. Pingback: Three men. – Celfypridd

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