Monk in Auschwitz 13



Ladder



Thomas lay down to sleep
And saw a ladder
On which hoards of SS officers
Were scrambling down to grayish pits
Where riddled corpses of Jacob's sons
Were rising from the dead
Layer for layer and moving toward
That ladder to ascend.

And on waking Thomas took stones
That lay about
And set them one upon the other
Where the ladder had stood,
Held there by the Awful Presence
Hovering over its uppermost rung.

Looking up to the heavens
He heard no voice—
Only the muffled crack of rifles
Being fired on a mound
Onto which he saw them chasing
Staggering shapes
With unleashed,
Bellowing bloodhounds.