Ghetto Song



When on a makeshift stage
the children in Theresienstadt
sang about sweets
they hadn't seen for years
their empty hands held them
till they stopped singing.

One day fifty years later
three German children
sat in a bus on their way home
from school, singing softly.
Until five youths entered, loud,
groping for coins
sneers toward the children.
They came torquing past us
in search of space enough
to sprawl across and expand.

Only after they stopped singing
did the intruders
take their sweets from them.