Arbeit Macht Frei - Poem by Jesse Ellsbury
Tomorrow is the day of judgment, brought before the king
unelected, forever protected
he thinks by years,
he thinks the tears
of children keep him young.
Tomorrow will be the day of judgment, the day after that
and the day after that, forever
and never judged harshly,
but only with the subtle slings
of being detained without trial in Hell.
Habeas corpus, radiant corpse, yes,
I’ll be whatever you want me to be,
a slave to the whims of outrageous fortune,
I pray but I swear I must have been born in
the star sign of Satan himself.
To go in every day to false Heavens so made
that the spirits can do whatever they wish
while the angels so struggle
to fight with no muzzle
against jaws closed and opened at once.
But I still make the effort like a fox with his leg in
a trap that just won’t let up and I’m begging
for the strength to chew off my thigh
or just lay down to die
when the hunter comes back with the lead
And I shall let him lead me to liberty
from the shackles that are the fate of the damned
they call it a joy
but as Auschwitz said, Arbeit Macht Frei.
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