Corridor Acrylic on Canvas 48 x 38 in 1999

Acrylic on Canvas
48 x 38 in

[after visiting a crematory]
Can you smell it?
Sure you can.
Can you feel
the heat in the air,
the sounds of voices
with no hope to be heard?
Impeccable corridor
of perfectly ordered
brick arrays
hidden by a cover of gray
that muted the sounds
of the burning dead.
I once walked
such a corridor
and I met all of them
for their rests had been hidden
in the narrowest of crevices
in between the perfect
brick arrays
that not even half a century
had washed away.
And I was embraced
by the silence
of their eternal request
“Have you seen my Frieda?”
“Please don’t let Isaac
see me like this”.
These are the sounds that clung
to the smell
that I breathed in
when I visited last there.

Saul Balagura          July 2, 1998