Anne Frank,1988 Poem by Edward Steinhardt

Anne Frank,1988

Dear child, your Queen is dead,
The Germans have returned
To their borders;
That cursed Nazi shot himself,
And the long-awaited Allies
Have all gone home.
Miep still lives in Amsterdam.

The children who play
In the street today
Under your hiding place
Neither remember the long war
Nor the bouncing ball
That rolled before a Nazi's feet
And his condescending glare.
Children in those days
Matured in fear of the occupation
Troops who, under cover of darkness,
Could swing you aboard a truck
Never to be seen nor heard of again.

Dear child, your haunted dreams
And private nights are ours now,
Serialized in book and upon the screen
Where we of future-tense
Must look back upon ourselves
And remember that we allowed
Little girls, little girls
Who wrote diaries, looked to the window
And thought of spring, of boys;
Laughing faces in open places,
To be discarded as broken human toys.

Child, your tears are our tears now.
We have come to take your dreams
And keep them for you. We have
Removed you from your hiding place
And made things right again.
Anne, this was one such dream
That only we can dream looking back.
Miep has brought new note-books
For your thoughts.
May things look better on paper.

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