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​ From Platform To Smoke

From Platform To Smoke

I stand 'tween the rails looking back at the gate
With lips pursed I swallow and choke,
And I thank God that I'm still standing alive
Not going from platform to smoke.

Not going from platform to smoke in a blink
Or just in an hour and a half,
“We really have got this machine running smoothly.”
The camp commandant would laugh.

The camp commandant would laugh in his house
Which was white and just behind the hedge.
He and his family could just see the chimneys
And smoke past their window ledge.

I can just see the ledge of the window
With our hands wrapped for Tifilin prayer,
An act of worship never allowed
To those who were previously there.

Those who were previously there came by train,
In a transport they came every day,
Crammed in goods vans that slowed to a halt,
Confused and afraid in dismay.

Confused and afraid and in dismay
The got down and formed sorting lines,
Those who went right were sentenced to death,
To the left for some other designs.

And the stench of the smoke was appalling
It wafted and hung in the air,
Indicting all who worked in that place
Of the wickedness that they all share.

I stand 'tween the rails looking back at the gate
With lips pursed I swallow and choke,
And I thank God that I'm still standing alive,
Not going from platform to smoke

Tifilin Prayer- Tefillin consists of two small leather boxes attached to leather straps. The two boxes each contain four sections of the Torah inscribed on parchment.
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Submitted on July 10, 2014

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Neil McLeod Claim this poet

Born in Oxford, raised in Kenya, past winner of Los Slamgeles Poetry Slam and author of abitingchance.blogspot.comand "The First Thanksgiving".Doctor McLeod is a performing poet who has recited at Highland Games, dinners and Burns Nights for the last 36 years. He is happily married, lives and works in Los Angeles,has three children, and practices as a dentist on Sunset Boulevard:http://www.drneilmcleod.com/He can be contacted by e-mail at drneilmcleod@yahoo.com and will willingly entertain requests to share his work with permission. more…

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