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A Little Mädchen's Tale

By: Angelina Wang

Thick smoke veiled humid air, clouding her vision.

The putrid stench of burning pages expanded,

Steaming the atmosphere gray and ivory white.

And the little girl! Consumed by hatred's fiery plight,

She gazed at the untapped knowledge,

Forever gone into the starry night.

Pages turned crisp and black

Then fell into nothingness’ cold embrace,

Blown away by chilled midnight air:

A cursed triumphant wind

Of Nazi Germany’s sins.

“Verbrennt die Bücher!”

Piercing laughter echoed and cheers resounded

Loudly, traveling through timber and stone.

As the starved Jews found by the Gestapo

Were shoved into line.

The little Mädchen stepped with burning indignation.

She extended her frail hands, revealing a piece of stale bread.

“Was machst du!” — the whip’s cruel command

Its crack rending the air, swift and severe.

Yet amidst the chaos, three times it was not heard:

Lost to the screeches of the young, the old, the dear.

Crimson flowers bloomed on her arms, agleam,

Melting and flowing: a river’s tears.

She closed her eyes, the world spinning fast from unbearable pain.

The screeches of children, the elderly, and the young

Drifting away slowly…

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