Snow falls on Dachau, wintry year on year,
Covering, like the subtler snows of time,
The lineaments of naked truth and pain.
We speak the story.
The blur of story, and of memory bent,
Bending to edit, bending to rewrite,
Will waver what is etched in blood and stone:
Theirs was the story.
We must remember, we must stand like trees,
And put our roots down in the bitter place,
To drink in all that is, and all that was:
Facing the story.
Every pretending opens up a gate
Through which a monstrous evil may walk forth,
To spew more filth on an uncaring world,
Numb to the story.
We must stand witness under time’s cruel lash:
The least we can do for the least of these,
Till memory becomes a sacrament,
Knowing the story.
Stark truth must stand, and we must speak its name,
With heavy lips but a courageous heart,
Speaking that our own souls have played their part –
Owning the story.
Let it not fade to make us comfortable,
Let there be justice done and justice said,
Until that hour when every wrong is dead:
This was the story.