Two Poems

Anna Brovko


Stroking the borders of society
Remembering how he told me nowadays beauty is deformed
Surely then
It cannot exist in this world?
Looked in my vague direction
Pronounced that no one would like me enough
To overlook
The fact my legs do not feel like ebony
Preached hygiene in my face
When I am perfectly sanitary, I chose
To stand
When he told me to sit down
Observing the watch on my left hand
I counted the years it will take to pay off his debt
His lie
That I will not be seen as beautiful
Is it a problem, sir?
I will invite you to my husband's home when I have found
A man
Who does not disguise himself as a boy
Who notices but does not care enough
For an illusion of a beast to rise and dance before his eyes
Who loves
And lets love prosper
I listened to his faltering speech
I sensed his detachment before I saw him leave
I breathed
Without me criticising me for breathing
He tried to place me on the boundaries
And if they force me, on the borders I will live
I am
And will continue to be
With my hairy legs
With my blemished face
With my excess fat

And Then She Lay Lifeless

what burned instead of eyes
if you could say they stared like eyes
were two pits filled with coal
and they only knew their goal
they followed only orders
if you could say those barks were orders
gave numbers and took names
saw lives as petty games
of who was stronger, who was best
but he was exactly like the rest
who sought instead of finding
who killed instead of minding
what would happen to those left
if you could call it left alone
no, it was being forever haunted
and by old memories taunted
forced to relive death
if you could say it was just that
if you could say it meant the world
instead the world meant it
it was deliberate
the pain was there
in fact, it was everywhere
had her world led to this?
or had this led to the world now
either way, it didn't matter
it was insignificant.
and then she lay lifeless

I'm a 16-year-old girl who is passionate about history and especially the events of both World Wars. Although I have not personally experienced them, I like to explore the experiences people did have in these conflicts, and one of these ways is through poetry. This poem specifically is about a Jewish girl in a Nazi concentration camp, and was inspired by the film The Devil's Arithmetic. Thank you!

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