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North American Dreaming: Hill Of Souls

William Burkholder’s poem tells the heartfelt tale of a survivor.

They sent me climbing that day, scratching and clawing; I went searching,
at the behest of the lieutenant's riding crop across my back.

He sent me looking for my father's watch,
His gold watch that would have been mine.
Nazis took it, took Papa, Mama and Sister too.

He made me climb that hill of souls,
Shells now of who they once were,
Beaten, bloody, no longer in pain.
Still proud, still honest, still strong.

Yes, he made me climb then,
and 1 have been climbing ever since.
Leading, telling all who would listen of this forced journey and torture.

I am my family's lone survivor;
I will never forget that climb,
nor the lieutenant, who last I saw,
swung from allied gallows, just outside the gate.

I am here now,
to remember, to lead, to climb.

**

Do please visit Troubadourt21 magazine which Bill co-edits www.troubadour21.com

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