Barbara Baldwin


We suffered too      No one knew           what was

   Happening          we did not           see the camps

They    were         in the forests             we did not 

   Hear      those     people driven     through    there

Was the blackout       We kept  our curtains 

  Closed with pins    It was         the law

The smoke was always      with us   when   they burned

When it was over     Father had nothing   we fought 

With old friends   over dirt-bread     stood in 

Grey lines    waiting     our turn      Reichmarks

Were useless      Mother  never embroidered    after

Those others    had homes    in the end

Headstones covered     all         our    green   

Our city      was       ruined            only        ashes 

Now     here                   again

This     Jewish  Propaganda


("The German Version" came about after reading Escape From Sobibor, in a day-job break room. A much loved older worker confronted me, furious at the mere sight of the text. She had been the loyal daughter of a German officer. This breathless monologue-as-poem demonstrates her ongoing hatred of the victims of the Holocaust, decades later. I owe the title of this poem to my dearly loved mentor and friend, Carolyn Kizer. -BB )


Barbara Ellen Baldwin holds an MFA in poetry, creative writing and literary editing, and has a BA in Communications.An English tutor, she also works as book reviewer/assistant editor for renowned literary sites. Work has appeared in: The Lullwater Review, Fugue, The West Wind Review, Pivot, Speakeasy, Plainsong, The Snail Mail Review, Blue Unicorn, Gulf Stream, the North Wind Review, and elsewhere. She is editing a new manuscript, Feeding The Anxiety Dog and is studying ASL with a private tutor.