Below is a poem in memory of my grandparents, who were murdered in the Shoah and who I still mostly associate with the flickering yahrzeit candles of my childhood.
For me there was no bubby,
To whom I was a cherished guest.
For me there was nozaide,
Convinced I was the best.
For me there was no grandpa,
To tickle me when I was sad.
For me there was no grandma
I could run to when Mommy was mad.
For me there were no grandparents,
With open arms and a welcoming lap.
Patiently listening to my chatter,
Or spinning tales that held me rapt.
For me there are no memories
Of the older generation I never knew.
No loving experiences to remember,
No magical moments to review.
I have no sweet recollections
Over which I can nod and smile.
To give them life inside my mind,
If only for a little while.
For me there are no gravesites,
Where I can go and shed a tear.
And share my thoughts with those long gone,
And feel that they are still near.
In my heart there is an empty space,
For my childhood contained a hole.
I had no past to guide my future,
A lacking that still takes a toll.
For me there were no elders,
The family albums were never whole.
For at birth I was a “grand-orphan,”
A deprivation that still gnaws at my soul.
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