THE PILES: An Excerpt from 'The Experience of a Young Woman in Hitler's Europe'

The following is a poetic excerpt from a play I wrote entitled ‘The Experience of a Young Woman in Hitler’s Europe.’ The play revolves around three women’s stories from growing up in the midst of the Holocaust. This excerpt is spoken by the narrator, when she introduces the physical piles that are on stage. The piles serve as a kind of character of their own throughout the play; they are set pieces, props, and also represent the people who perished during the genocide.

Piles of shoes

Piles of hair

Piles of pots, pans -

I couldn’t help but to stare

At the piles.

Piles of memories

Of lives lived

Of unrealized dreams

The piling of questions

That have not-good-enough answers

How could this happen?

Have we learned? 

Will we remember?

A lack of piles of response.

An abundance of recovered notes,

Letters from the otherwise forgotten

Uncovered underneath the rotten piles of memory.

FEELS LIKE HOME: A Poem, Inspired by an Image

Alien streets

Turned familiar

In just a few weeks

The same steps

Each day, morning and night

Through weather of all kinds

Under a multitude of skies

Green, gray, black, blue

Tracing the same paths

Until they become our own

Until they are ours 

And we can walk them

With our eyes closed

Know them

Like the backs of our hands

The expression goes

But each evening

As the sun sets

I always seem to forget

The way the world changes

And how the ground opens up

To receive the sun

And the way the sky stretches big and broad

To catch the night

And before my eyes

This street that has become normalized,

Mundane and familiar

Puts on a show

For me only

And that is how I know

That this time is mine to hold

That this street is mine to own

That this is home

Outside the Château

Outside the Château