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The Sun of Auschwitz, by Tadeusz Borowski

September 28, 1997

You remember the sun of Auschwitz

and the green of the distant meadows, lightly

lifted to the clouds by birds,

no longer green in the clouds,

but seagreen white. Together

we stood looking into the distance and felt

the far away green of the meadows and the clouds'

seagreen white within us,

as if the color of the distant meadows

were our blood or the pulse

beating within us, as if the world

existed only through us and nothing changed

as long as we were there. I remember

your smile as elusive

as a shade of the color of the wind,

a leaf trembling on the edge

of sun and shadow, fleeting

yet always there. So you are

for me today, in the seagreen

sky, the greenery and

the leaf-rustling wind. I feel

you in every shadow, every movement,

and you put the world around me

like your arms. I feel the world

as your body, you look into my eyes

and call me with the whole world.

From "Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness," edited by Carolyn Forche (Norton: 812 pp., $19.95) Copyright 1997 Reprinted by permission.

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