David Hickman

Otto Freundlich

In Majdanek, as I was dying,

I saw the stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral

blood-red with shame at what had come.

But the beautiful broken faces of the Jews were lit

by an ethereal and peaceful flame

both diffuse and coherent

as they turned into their pain.

Our deaths were of a kind,

and woven, in kaleidoscopic tones

of rose and white.

In Majdanek, as I was dying

I understood the artist

as the hope inside history,

and I remembered how,

in Paris,

we had lived in poverty

for the sake of light .