translated from the Yiddish by Y.D. Shulman
No. I was never in Treblinka.
Nor was I in Maidanek.
Yet I stood upon their threshold,
I stood upon their edge.
The threshold is God's great world,
A sill facing the world-to-come...
I stand there and I wait,
Great world, I wait for your command:
You, dirty Jew, let's go--the gas chamber!
Everything I see is divine.
The forests are shaking with religious heads,
And over every mountain, over every steppe
Winds are wheeling, circling and dancing.
Above, the sun is fair and pure, charged
With an overflow of flame
From whose quick flares are tearing and streaming
All the tongues of fire of Maidanek.
In this--my life--I have already had
Abundant offers promising delights
Like the Inquisition. I stand
Near the death camp of the world, on line,
A signed and registered Treblinka candidate.