The Accuser / Die Anklagende

Lynn Bryce

    "The Accuser" and "The Mourner" are poems written in response to two sculptures of the same title by the German artist, Fritz Cremer. The sculptures are bronze replicas of stone originals executed in 1947/8 for an antifascist memorial at the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna. They are among the first German works of art to address the Holocaust. Both sculptures are exhibited at the entrance of the Altes Museum at Marx-Engles-Platz on the Museum Island in the old center of Berlin.

This will not be easy
You will not be able to look down
or to the side
or away
You will not even be able to die.

This will not be easy
I speak to you
of what you have done
and of what you have not done.

I speak to each alone
words unspoken
that can only be heard in silence.

When you thirst to be without pain
in a place of no miracles
You will drink black water
while your children look away.

And when your house crumbles
speech will not break out
and the spittle will be returned
to the hollow in your throat.

Copyright 1995 Kaleidoscope. Write Place. Volume 6.
Contributors retain all rights to their work.