for Moshe Liba
after reading his 'Holocaust' poems

['The aims of life are the best defence against death.' Primo Levi]

To grow up
in the shadow
of sorrow
blue ancestral grief
a curtain of grey
moved by a passing breath
in the clouds. Rain catches us
in the occupation of death
tearing us further
on the journey
to life. A rush of wind
and dark rolls back
from day. For an instant
flowers blaze, the sun
a spread of stars
lighting up the hills.

‘Shoah’ first published in Antologi Puisi, Pengucapan Puisi Dunna (Dawan Behasa, 2000), © Riemke Ensing 2000, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004.

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