Abraham Sutzkever

(1913 - 2010 / Smorgon, Russian Empire)

Ashamed - Poem by Abraham Sutzkever

Among us they wander, the ashamed,
Their number
Seared in their arm
With red coal of hell.
No one wants to see it,
Seared in terror,
As a hump will not see its own shadow.

See, among us they wander, the ashamed,
Small, thin,
Hiding their shame in a cave, in a ruin.
Thank God, from their gums
No one has yet
Sucked their drop of hatred.

But once, in shameless night,
When the ashamed lie
With eyes green like cabbage in Maidanek —
The number alone,
Cutting patience,
Tears away from their skin
Like a melody —
Hovers into the palace
Where a butcher dance is performed
By a freshly lunatic Belshazar.

1951


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Poem Submitted: Monday, July 21, 2014

Poem Edited: Monday, July 21, 2014


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