Agnes Janich

With Our Eyes Closed


In The Camp,

being in the clothes separating unit

gave the highest chances of survival

and going insane.

The workers closed their eyes

and, blinded,

felt the pictures with their hands.

The risk of finding those of loved ones

was too great,

for that meant their owners’ ashes

had already fertilized

the nearby fish ponds.

I collected the images they carried

in seconds 

they never expected

to be final.

Hope died last

and blinded them

to the very final minute,


as it would blind

my family and me

if it happened



© 2003 - 2019 Agnes Janich