Issue > Poetry
Doris Ferleger

Doris Ferleger

Doris Ferleger is the author of three volumes of poetry, Big Silences in a Year of Rain, When You Become Snow and As the Moon Has Breath. Winner of the New Letters Poetry Prize and the A Room of Her Own (AROHO) Creative Non Fiction Prize, among others, her work has been published in numerous journals including Cimarron Review, L.A. Review, and The New Guard.

Morning Was Snow

What I did?
     Liberation day?

I tell you
     like it is happening now.

I stand under a tree. What kind,
     you want

I should know? My mouth,
     I can't believe

              with no one
     measuring the amount of air
I steal. I don't pray
to remember. I don't pray
          not to remember
           that night, the walls
               not just wailing.

You think this is wailing          here
     with these Chassids shukkling,
          rocking, pulling
                         beards. Mouths full
               of prayers.
They believe.    Still.    
     Good for them.
         They're doing what they survived to do. Wait
for the Messiah. We waited like crazy
     monkeys, half-skeleton, half-monkey, hair
sheared off heads, screaming
               the Viddui prayer, shaking

the walls of the gas chamber. Except
     for your Aunt Aliza. What she said
     if I translate to English, is like,
'We're not going yet.'

Morning was snow and sun together
     with changed orders:

'Out from the gas chamber,                
     walk to the next camp.' Auschwitz. Who knew

     Auschwitz would save us?
It needed more numbers, more arms for numbers.

               So we counted
                 for something.


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