Monday, August 14, 2017

two stories about hands

for john b-r


robert desnos, poet and nazi resistance fighter, was roused from the barracks of the concentration camp and loaded into a crowded truck bed.  everyone in the truck bed knew it was going to the gas chambers.  the mood was dark.  no one spoke.  not even the driver nor the nazi guards uttered a word.

when the truck stopped the condemned stepped in to line.  silence.  heavy.  the universe spun to a tiny point of right now.  there was a noise.  a motion.  an energy.  robert desnos stepped out of the queue.  he took a man's hand.  i shall read your palm, he told the man.  i see you will have a long life.  you will have three children.  you will live in excellent health.  he took the hand of the next man in line.  robert desnos saw a long life, three children, and excellent health.  robert desnos went down the line reading each person's palms.  he saw the same long life, number of children and excellent health in every palm. 

the universe shifted its weight.  the condemned felt, once again, life.  they felt human.  they are human.  the nazi guards couldn't kill fellow humans.  so they loaded them back in the truck bed.  including robert desnos.  and returned to the barracks.


he was used to the smell of the dead.  he didn't think they were human.  they were not children.  they were some other.  the air was always puffy with ash.  it was, he thought, they were things were.

he walked the little girl to the death chamber.  she was three or four years old.  she took his hand.  she looked up to him.  he broke.  by her touch the little girl became human.  she is human.  he broke.  into thousands of pieces.  he felt the warm smallness of her hand.  for as long as he remained alive.


At 5:17 AM, Blogger review said...

Great and so heart touching story you have shared, it is really worth a read. And I am always amazed at your great shares, you always share something that is just incredible.


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