This poem is titled “I will outlive them” and is written by Devon Speir. I’ve been carrying these words with me as I move through these sites of immense loss and death. I ask myself, what lives on of the people who were murdered in the Holocaust? How do I acknowledge their life and death and honor who they are? How do we as a Jewish people continue to live with this pain?
Feeling the eternal life that pulses through the earth has grounded me during this trip. At the Jewish cemetery in Berlin-Mitte, the community has invited the ivy to hold the complexity of gestapo members buried amidst Jewish bodies. I saw the 100 year old trees outside the wansee mansion and the purple flowers growing across from the Nazi documentation site.
I come to visit these sites of trauma and I also see the flowers. I know that the earth helps carry both my deep pain and the whispers of enduring life.
“I will outlive them” Devon Speir
when i say “i will outlive them”
long lying in a blanket of earth
enjoining the soil
of a new shelter
and the flowers
people would come from miles around
to smell and sit amongst the flowers
a garden for all the Others
and i, us, We
the perpetual next Creation