The Crows of Majdanek


The Crows of Majdanek, by Jared Sorhaindo

They perch on the wire
And only disturb their silence
With their caw, caw, caw,
Whose isolated sound
Renders the muted dead
That much louder.I trudge through the grass,
Dewy, muddy, my shoes stained,
Anxious, nauseous; above all, lonely.

The cawing both reassures me
And deepens my angst.
The one sign of life
Is also an omen,
A scavenger seeming to feast
On the shards of memory.

Rows of accursed creatures
Doomed to stand sentinel
In a haunted landscape
Of zigzag mounds.

The stain of Majdanek
Remains on my shoe;
It wouldn’t wash out.
Eternal, like the watch
Of those endless crows
Perched on their wire,
Their caws echoing into the fog,
And into the void.

hch-jared-photo-bw Jared Sorhaindo, Washington, D.C., February 10, 2017
Originally published on Al-Zilzal on August 4, 2016