Thursday, April 7, 2011

Photograph of Leopold Socha

"Photograph of Leopold Socha"

By Robert L. Penick

There was little heroic in your features.
You resembled more of Genet's
babyface than the angular features
of successful men, such as
Wallenberg and Schindler.
Thief, robber, sewer worker.
What chance did you see
in hiding those Jews?
Working in your tunnels you
could have forgotten them,
left them to starvation or
grenades tossed down manholes.

You said it was atonement
that kept you coming back,
risking lamppost gallows,
a firing squad for your family.
But why did you risk taking
the tattered Jewish prayerbook
from the ruins of the ghetto
to give to the poetess?
Why hold the seven-year-old
up to the sewer grate,
promising her she'd see
sunshine and flowers again?

You were a tough little Pole
with only courage to spare.

you remembered your crimes
but who remembered you?

1 comment:

Christina said...

The story of Leopold Socha's heroism: