Neat millions of pairs of abandoned shoes

Creased with mute presence of those whose


Faces both stare and vanish. Which ghetto?

Warsaw, Vilna, Lodz, Riga, Kovno.


Eight hundred dark-eyed girls from Salonica

Bony and sag-breasted singing the Hatikvah


Tread the barefoot floor to a shower-room.

Friedländer, Berenstein, Menashe, Blum.


Each someone’s fondled face. A named few.

Did they hold hands the moment they knew?


I’ll change their shame to praise and renown in all

The earth… Always each face and shoeless footfall


A breathing memory behind the gossamer wall.