Mothers - Poetry by Ester Golan

My Mother

My mother, she was a true heroine.
Thanks to her I am here to say
My mother,  the heroin.
She parted from  all her children
So that they should live
Live on their own
In the land of her dreams.
With heavy heart she parted
First from her son,
Then her daughter
And last from the little one
Who was still so young and innocent.
Day and night she cried
It broke my mothers heart.
Deep in her soul she knew
There was no other way out.
For her children to stay alive
She had to let them go.
She considered it a duty to her people
To save her children’s lives.
For them to live and thrive
She had to part with them.
My mother, the loving caring mother
The Heroin.
Let us remember her today
And thousands like her.     

Haifa October 1989 - Auschwitz-Birkenau

I was not there.

I was not there to be with you,
I could not hold your hand.
I was not there to steady you,
In your hour of great despair.

You and you alone,
Had to carry the burden.
Your beloved partner for life
Was at your feet.
You could not bury him,
That was not allowed. 

I could not hold you in my arms
When we needed each other most.
I was not there,
It was just you, you alone.

Haifa, August 1994

The connecting path

Shalom my dear mother
60 years ago you walked to your death
on this path in Auschwitz,
alone and abandoned,
while all the world remained silent.

Mother, in your heart you carried you husband, our beloved father
who had lain at your feet in Theresienstadt.
You could not burry him, for that was not allowed.
I herewith cover you with the earth from Mount Herzl ,
Earth from a path, which connects your world with mine.

       Earth from the “Connecting Path”
which was opened this year on Yom Hashoa.
A path that connects the cemetery of soldiers who fell
in the land that you dreamed of  to live in.
The path on which the young generation said:
“Give us the past and we will build the future”.
Earth from the land that your children, grandchildren,
Great-grandchildren and their children live in.
Earth from the land we buried my grandson,
Who fell in action a year ago on Yom Hashoa,
While I was at a conference in Yad Vashem
Looking for ways how best to remember you.

This earth will be the path that connects the past with the present.
But this path will also lead us into the future as you wrote to me:
“Because there is a future, there is hope”. (Prov. 23/18)
There is a path of hope,
A path of hope for peace
Mother – you are the  “Connecting Path”.

 Your daughter Ester

Scattering soil from Mt. Herzl while walking on the path which
connects Auschwitz with Jerusalem,
your world with my world.
The path of hope for peace.

 Auschwitz-Birkenau  Jerusalem


Esther Golan is a Sociologist, Educational Counselor, Author, Artist, volunteer Lecturer at Yad Vashem School of Shoa Studies. She has presented papers at various International conferences.


© Copyright Judy Cohen, 2001.
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