Poetry
Hunger | Mommy Why Did You Leave Me?

Mommy Why Did You Leave Me?
by Ibi Grossman

    I was only four years old when I saw you last,
    But your kind and lovely face
    Is still in front of my eyes.
    You said many times how much you loved me
    Then why?   Why did you leave me?

    We had many lovely times together
    You took me to the park to play
    You read my favourite books to me every day
    And you said that you always,
    Always wanted me close to you.
    You held me tight and kissed me,
    Then why?   Why did you leave me?

    It has been three years already.
    I'm a big girl by now, over seven
    But every night when I close my eyes
    And before I go to sleep I still think of you Mommy
    Why?   Why did you leave me?

    I'm in a children's home now
    With many other orphaned children
    And I have friends and nannies I like,
    But one day, I was told that evil men had killed you
    Because there was a war.
    But what did you do? What was your sin Mommy?
    Why?   Why did you have to leave me?

    You should have told those evil men
    That you had a little girl at home,
    You should have told those bad people
    To leave you alone.
    If you loved me and you had told them about me
      Then why?   Why did you have to leave me?

    I believed you when you said you loved me.
    I loved you too, I still do.
    But I wish somebody would tell me,
    Why?   Oh, why did you have to leave me?


After World War II, I worked as a nanny in a Jewish orphanage in Budapest.
This little girl's parents were killed by the Nazis in 1944.
My poem is this child's point of view asking about her mother.
Published here with the author's permission.