Remnants: Auschwitz - Poem by Paul Hansford
Even from behind the glass,
you can smell the insecticide
that keeps the moths away.
A vast mound of matted sheep’s wool
you would say, except (they assure you)
it is original, all two tons of it,
the human hair that was left
unused at the end.
The rest went for socks
to keep workers’ feet warm.
All grey now, sixty years on, it has aged
as those that owned it never did.
They went naked to the shower room,
clutching the soap
they would never use,
and then to the ovens.
A lorry’s engine drowned the screams,
and the Governor’s wife tended her flowers,
making a garden “like paradise.”
This is at least the fourth major rewrite of this poem
- 'a poem is never finished, only abandoned.'
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